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Krampus | 2015 | PG-13 | - 1.5.5

A young boy (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned with Christmas because his family members are fighting with each other and so he rips up his letter to Santa Claus. His action releases the spirit of Anti-Santa, the ancient murdering spirit Krampus, who possesses toys and punishes non-believers. The family must cooperate in order to survive. Also with Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler and Gavin Norton. Directed by Michael Dougherty. Some dialogue is in an Austrian dialect without translation and some is accompanied by English subtitles. [1:38]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A woman leans her head against her husband's shoulder and he kisses her forehead twice.
 A boy writes that he wishes his parents could fall in love again.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 5 - A large demon goat-man is hairy, has large black hands with talons and stomps on two huge cloven hooves; dressed in animal skins and a long dark cloak, he has tall, curved horns on his head and displays a long, dark, pointed tongue below large glowing eyes and his mouth is in a perpetual gape, showing dirty, blunt teeth and we see long iron chains wrapped around him and dragging on the ground, clanking.
 A teen girl leaves home and walks to a friend's home in sub-zero weather and snow, but the home is dark; we hear rumbling off-screen and we see a huge black monster with long horns crash up through the house's roof, roar loudly and run across rooftops; the teen girl knocks on a truck window and sees a dead man completely frozen inside with his mouth and eyes gaping in fear, she hears a scream off-screen, hides under the truck and sees two huge hooves stomp up beside it with chains dragging on the ground; the hooves rise straight up and away and a jack-in-the-box appears and plays a tune as the lid opens, a jester hat slowly rises, we hear the girl screaming and the camera cuts to the girl's mom saying she is worried about her.
 Two women, a pre-teen girl, a young boy and a man fight high winds and the man shoots at a monster burrowing in the snow, to no avail; he hugs his wife goodbye and the unseen monster pulls him into a burrow and a vortex of snow like quicksand that grabs the woman and pulls her underground as the children get into a truck and monstrous claws slam against all the windows, cracking them as the kids shout and scream in terror; a monster grabs the shouting girl and takes her under the snow as the boy gets out of the truck and a goat-man monster stomps up to him.
 A boy runs to a clearing in snow and finds a goat-man monster in a sleigh with huge musk oxen hitched to it and evil elves cackling all around it, pulling a pre-teen girl's arms this way and that; the boy screams and the goat-man approaches him with the ground cracking open into a hot volcano in the snow; the monster hops onto the rim, the boy cries and the monster touches a teardrop with one claw and an opening in the snow sucks up a large jingle-bell marked Krampus; the elves laugh, throw the girl into the volcano fire and the boy shouts, cries, begs for his missing family to be restored and the goat-man drops the boy into the flames and the boy waves his hands and feet as he falls, and the screen goes white.
 During a night in a cold house, a clanking chain with a gingerbread man and jingle bells attached to it lowers into the hearth from the chimney; an overweight boy grabs the cookie, bites off part of its head and it yelps and squeals, then cackles, it wraps the boy in chains and the chains pull the boy up the chimney; adults try to pull him back down but fail (they shout and scream, but fall back to the floor as the boy is pulled up, shouting in fear) and a log rolls out and catches the Christmas tree on fire until another boy uses a fire extinguisher to put out the flames (the presents are burned).
 Three living gingerbread men fire a nail gun several times into a man's leg and laugh and he shoots them with a rifle, causing them to break and roll around in flames; as one of the flaming cookies rushes forward, a dog eats it.
 Two men carry guns around an empty house and we see the back of the head of a human as it moves around inside a gingerbread house; the men find the fireplace split open and the wall above it demolished with bricks falling out and large cloven hoof prints cover the snow on the floor; a scream off-screen causes the men to run outside where they find their car demolished and a few small flames burning on it as something unseen grabs a man and pulls him away into the snow like quicksand and he shouts, "Something's biting me!" (we hear shrieking off-screen), and his friend shoots twice, but we see no injuries; the friend pulls the other man out of the snow vortex in the ground as the camera cuts to their own home and they crash through the front door and shout for the family to take cover; they board up the doors and windows and we see a deep, bleeding wound over a foot in length on a leg of one of the men as another man wraps it tightly in bandages.
 Two pre-teen girls hear voices coming from the attic and we hear screams off-screen and adults run to the attic stairs, finding the girls missing; a woman grabs an axe, we hear clattering off-screen, a man with a rifle finds the kitchen ransacked with broken china all over the floor, adults climb up to the attic with flashlights and find a giant jack-in-the-box figure swallowing the legs and boots of a child with its slimy red teeth and a split jaw revealing more teeth; a man shoots without effect as a bloody-toothed angel doll with a snake's tongue strangles a woman, a slobbering teddy bear tries to bite a man and the angel doll hangs the woman it attacked from a rafter with a double strand of twinkle lights and laughs; a red-toothed doll robot jumps onto a man's back as a woman shoots the toys which fall away from their victims (we see a few facial scrapes on the adults) and another woman tries to chop the toys up, but they are undamaged; a woman shoots a teddy bear and it slams against a wall, slides to the floor and leaves a bloody splat on the wall.
 Outside a living room where a window and a door are broken in, we see adults and children exhaling misty breath in sub-zero temperatures and squealing and cackling off-screen causes an old woman to say, "Elves" as a band of short creatures wearing animal skins rushes into the room (many of the elves wear human-like or jester-like masks and one wears a long-beaked mask of a Kwakiutl bird god and many of the evil elves have blood on their faces); the elves harass the family, wrap a few humans in chains and leave cackling and squealing and we hear heavy stomping on the roof. Squealing, living toys rush toward the camera and the screen goes black.
 A family bundles up and heads out into a snowstorm, leaving the grandmother behind as the chimney, fireplace, and wall above it crack open and a horned goat-man descends and approaches the old woman, he reaches forth a black claw and touches her cheek as we see his glowing eyes and dirty teeth in a gaping mouth and his long tongue lashes out of his mouth; he slowly opens a bag, a doll's head appears and the camera cuts away. Two men go out into a blizzard and the camera closes in on an old woman's hand, which is shaking in fear and the men find a truck with the snow covered windshield punched inward, one man gets a rifle, gives a handgun to his friend and they enter a house, find a window broken out and snow on the floor, as they hear stomping on the roof and the camera cuts to the men's own house, where we hear a loud boom off-screen and see and hear a baby cry.
 A girl appears with her face, head and shoulders all slimy and we hear roaring and stomping on the roof; a dog jumps into a heating vent, makes it to the roof off-screen and barks loudly and we hear the roaring and stomping stop until the ceiling cracks open, the jack-in-the-box creature falls to the floor and a woman grabs a shotgun and shoots all the toys to pieces.
 A pre-teen girl receives a stuffed badger on a tree branch as a Christmas gift. A boy receives a small box, and inside is a large jingle-bell marked Krampus and his family falls silent while off-screen we hear muttering in a foreign language, muffled screeches, cackling, and chains clanking.
 An elderly woman's voiceover tells a story of her poor childhood accompanied by animation: Adults fight over loaves of bread given out of the back of a truck in an Austrian town, the woman as a little girl cries as her parents fight at home and the mother tears up her stuffed Santa doll in a close-up and the little girl throws it into the fireplace; that night, a shadow of a black monster goat-man with horns and clanking chains enters the house and we see shadows of adults waving their arms as they scream and the monster takes them away, but pauses at the girl's bedroom door where it winks at her and leaves a large jingle-bell with the name Krampus on it and in real time, and the old woman cries.
 A woman points a rifle at another woman and then leaves the house in a blizzard and outside shadows of a goat-man monster and smaller beings wearing animal skins and cloaks run across the screen and hide behind snowmen. Inside a house, burned Christmas packages shudder and squeal. Black clouds and a windstorm roll into a neighborhood while family members bicker and fight, arguing about food, presents and activities; the windstorm turns into a blizzard and a power outage frightens everyone as we hear feet stomping on the roof.
 A slow motion sequence shows people stampeding into a store for Christmas shopping; a man falls off a ladder and below the frame men and women fall to the floor in the rush (no injuries are visible), men and women fight over toys and pull them away from one other, children cry when they see Santa Claus, a woman punches a man hard in the jaw, a security guard pulls away two men by the hair and drags them on the floor behind her, and two guards point flashing stun guns at the camera (presumably two people were stunned). Boys dressed as a shepherd and a reindeer for a school pageant fist fight on stage; adults pull the kids apart and we see a bruise on the reindeer boy's cheek and he puts an ice pack on it later.
 Two pre-teen girls taunt their young boy cousin across the table, saying that Santa crashed his sleigh and someone ate all the reindeer, the girls attack the boy and they scuffle on the floor until adults separate them (no injuries are visible), the boy shouts, "I hate Christmas! I hate all of you," runs upstairs to his room and rips up his letter to Santa, throwing it out of a window. Two pre-teen girls dressed as boys practice (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details) wrestling with their brother as their father cheers them on. Two pre-teen girls dressed as boys play a violent video game where men shoot large handheld cannons, but we see no injuries.
 A teen girl asks a pre-teen boy if he asked Santa for dialysis; the boy does not speak. A pre-teen boy burps loudly at the dinner table and his father laughs loudly and approves. A man brags about his rifles and handguns and his wife tells him to stop talking about them.
 End credits feature a series of drawings and postcards of the Krampus figure through history.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 2 F-words, 1 not fully enunciated F-word derivative, 3 sexual references, 15 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 9 mild obscenities, name-calling (moronic, bastard, fairy tale, senile, big fat creeper, weird, spineless), exclamations (Oh my gosh), 1 religious profanity (GD), 16 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, God, It's Christmas, Merry Christmas, Jesus, Jesus Almighty).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man pours whiskey into a coffee mug and drinks it, a man removes a bottle of beer from his refrigerator (we do not see him drink), a woman asks for alcoholic eggnog and her niece directs her to the kitchen, a woman tells pre-teen children that she will teach them to make peppermint schnapps (the camera cuts to her pouring the alcohol into a cup of cocoa and sharing it with three pre-teens), a woman and a pre-teen boy drink from spiked cocoa and the scene ends as the woman passes the cup two pre-teen girls, a woman pours unknown alcohol from a flask into a mug twice and drinks it, on Christmas morning a woman says, "I haven't been this hung over since the Pope died," adults at a family dinner have glasses of wine before them, and a pre-teen boy drinks Mountain Dew soda from a 2-liter bottle and burps loudly.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - German legends, demons, Santa Claus, belief, punishment for non-belief, commercial Christmas, family fights, animosity, selfishness, grudges, bullying, gender confusion, arch-conservatism, bigotry, disillusionment, sadness, regret, apologizing, making amends, forgiveness, using guns for self-defense, families, responsibility, protecting loved ones.

MESSAGE - Christmas is a time in which to appreciate family, friends and sharing.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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