Starring: Maria Olsen, Anna Harr, Amelia Haberman, Katie Peabody
Directed by: Joseph Mbah
Written by: Robert Conway
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Reviewed by: Dan Oles
Krampus Origins is only truly enjoyable from the perspective of a small project with ambitions that has a surprisingly decent cast. From a production standpoint the special effects fail to impress, the backgrounds tend to be sparse and dull, and the story such as it is rumbles along at a snail’s pace. But there’s some attention to period detail (itself ambitious for a smaller budgeted production) and effort has been made to have accurate dialogue. Work went into this and heart; the fraying point is how prosaic the plot is and how the minuscule amount of resources is all too evident in most aspects of the film.
Origins rides the coattails of the contemporary meme that is The Krampus legend itself: a European boogieman anti-Santa Claus who punishes naughty children as opposed to giving gifts on Christmas. Origins is clearly banking on the popularity of another horror film simply called ‘Krampus’ which had the benefit of an A-List cast and some of the best special effects studios in Hollywood. Origins draws no parallels with the other movie beyond the superficial similarities in title and the name of the antagonist. This might be a sticking point for people looking for a prequel to Krampus or something similar to the blending of horror and comedy that other film had. Origins is straight-laced drama and horror with a world war aesthetic in costume and characterization. Unfortunately like most aspects of the film the time period doesn’t get a lot of expansion or integration into a by-the-numbers tale of a magic book that can summon Krampus and cause chaos. As a horror film too Krampus Origins is dry and dull. Not a lot happens, the kills are uncreative, and the big reveals are obvious.
Then there’s the biggest issues. Mic work is terrible with some characters sounding recorded at completely different times in locations with worse quality equipment. The CGI is embarrassing, especially a needless stock graphic rocket effect that occurs very soon into the film and the Krampus itself which is a little too goofy to be frightening. Also there could be something, anything, having to do with Christmas?
I don’t want to knock a combined work that seems to have so much potential and care but it needed some more rewrites and true investigation of its namesake to make Origins more than just a curiosity for film buffs only.
Anti-Hero The Motion Comic Series
Episode 1 (Watch for Free!) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmmouuBlWTk&t=49s