On Friday, Krampus hit theaters. Though it received a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes which is actually a rather high rating for the site, especially considering that Spectre only received 64%, it did not get that much of a positive response from the average movie goer, many of whom were angry for being "tricked" into seeing the film. So what was the problem?
The story followed a family who tried to escape the Christmas demon Krampus after the son accidentally summoned him by losing his Christmas spirit. The family must then embark on a journey to escape Krampus who has brought to life different holiday characters (like Gingerbread Men) that try to destroy them. Rather far-fetched, yet somehow entertaining.
The movie was a comedy, not a horror
Being a classic mythological character, this was not the first on-screen attempt at Krampus and probably won't be the last. However, after the failed attempt at making Krampus a serious horror movie back in 2013 crashed and burned, the producers of this version of Krampus realized that a more light hearted approach should be taken.
This version of Krampus first and foremost served as a comedy. The producers decided that it would not survive in the horror genre considering how ridiculous the plot was, so comedy it was. In fact, according to sites like IMDb.com, Horror is not even its second defining genre - fantasy is! Clearly this movie was not intended to be a Horror movie. Because the concept of an evil Santa demon is already so laughable, why not add more laughter to it?
The downfall of the film
This was all a great plan until it came time to get people to seeing the movie. The greatest downfall of Krampus was not its plot or its writing, but rather its marketing. Instead of showing the comedy aspects of the film, the trailers for Krampus showed the more serious aspect and hoped people would look at it like a comedy because of the ridiculous concept. Unfortunately, it did not go that way. Instead, people looked at it like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and saw the movie as one having a ridiculous concept that would still turn out to be a serious film.
Because of this marketing, the majority of the people who went to see Krampus went in expecting it to be a horror film and, as you can imagine, left disappointed. It seems the only people who went into the theater seeing it as what it is, a comedy, were the ones who were enthused with the film. Those who knew what it was supposed to be went in looking at it like The Gremlins, a comedy with a horror twist.
Check out the trailer below to see my point. It starts out comedic (like many horror films would) but ends looking like it is a film inflated with horror.
Though many people were disappointed, Krampus is still a good film - you just have to look at it for what it is, a comedy, rather than looking at it as the new Halloween. Krampus is still in theaters and I recommend you go see it, just don't go in thinking its a horror film because it's not. It has two big comedy actors for goodness sake...