The Krampus has become a staple of low budget horror films in the past few years. Robert Conway (EMINENCE HILL), in particular, has jumped on the bandwagon, writing and directing KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING and KRAMPUS UNLEASHED. Now he’s written KRAMPUS ORIGINS and passed the directorial role on to Joseph Mbah (GENESIS: FALL OF THE CRIME EMPIRE, EXPO).
Late in the first World War, an Allied patrol captures some strange artifacts from the Germans. After they’re killed in action it gets sent to the commanding officer’s widow Josephine (Katie Peabody). She’s a teacher at an orphanage run by Sister Rafus (Maria Olsen MARRTOWN, GHOST IN THE GRAVEYARD). Of course, the book falls into the hands of a couple of budding witches who accidentally summon Krampus. Now they and the rest of the school will have to band together to defeat the creature.
Despite the title, KRAMPUS ORIGINS doesn’t tell us how Santa’s nemesis came to be. It does, however, tell how it managed to cross the Atlantic. How good a job it does of it though may be a matter opinion. While it is an effective tale of dark magic and demons, the title creature doesn’t show up until the last 20 minutes of the film. We do get a creepy little boy, Nicholas (Chandler Mantione) who mysteriously appears at the orphanage doors, but that’s not what people will be watching this for.
When it does appear the Krampus is a suitably evil looking beast. It doesn’t look much like the poster or like it did in the other two films. This time it looks like some kind of armor wearing demonic knight, with horns and fiery eyes, a much more evil appearance than before. In another departure, it’s played by a man (Cleon Gionet) in a suit with some CGI enhancement. It’s a lot better than the purely animated creature used before.
So, if you’re looking for a Christmas monster movie, you may want to wait for SLAY BELLES. But if you just want an effective genre film with a bit of monster mayhem at the climax, KRAMPUS ORIGINS should do nicely.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release KRAMPUS ORIGINS on digital and DVD November 6.