Stars: Monica Engesser, Amelia Haberman, James Ray, Kevin Tye, Sean G P Anderson, Owen Conway, Carrie Fee, Shawn Saavedra, Nathaniel Burns, Alexandria Stevens, Benjamin Foronda, Angelina Mann, Jeffrey Lamar | Written by Robert Conway, Owen Conway | Directed by Robert Conway
As a public-domain boogeyman, you know you’ve hit the big time when you have your very own straight to DVD rip-off released in conspicuously close vicinity to a big(ger) budget feature also bearing your name and talents. Case in point Krampus, currently at a career high with this year’s Krampus and A Christmas Horror Story at last giving the anti-Santa Claus the cinematic exposure he so deserves.
Shamelessly piggybacking on the Krampus high is Krampus: The Reckoning, which claims to be a Krampus movie but instead tells the story of a Carrie-esque brat and her imaginary (?) friend… who also happens to be Christmas demon Krampus. The budgetary constraints means that our time spent with the monster is limited, leading to an excess of its horrible lead girl (with apologies to Amelia Haberman, who is simply painful in the role) and an uninteresting central mystery which even Doctor Who would be ashamed of.
Acting is a dodgy prospect in most low budget horror movies, so it’s curious that this one should choose to spend so much time with child actors, from the unbearable Haberman to little Sean G P Anderson, playing the nice-but-dim (and hilariously named) Lamaar. To be fair to the wee ones, the adults aren’t much better, but those with a particular aversion to bratty children would be well advised to avoid this one. As should everyone else. After her comically wicked foster mother is murdered by Krampus, little Zoe is taken into care. Case worker Rachel investigates, unwittingly drawing Zoe’s wrath. This generally consists of sullen glaring, screaming that is flat and screechy at the same time, and also totally unbearable. Not even Krampus can redeem his own movie, without even a bit of tinsel to get into the Christmas spirit. The CGI is bad, but then, everything is.
With Krampus and A Christmas Horror Story, the festive demon is riding on a career high. A high which Krampus: The Reckoning is very much part of. Beware, should you find this under your tree come December 25th. It’s the proverbial lump of coal.
Krampus: The Reckoning is out now on digital/DVD.