By Elisha Silk (Houston, Texas)
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There’s a whole lot to like about this film; number one, um, being Toni Collette, who’s always a strong chemical mixture of superior acting and can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it attractiveness. Second to steal the show are the disparate forces of Adam Scott and David Koechner, who interact beautifully as the odd couple men-of-the-house pitted against Santa’s shadow and his evil minions.

The movie is fresh in its subject content and approach, but in execution it’s just another formulaic horror. There are a few disjointed sequences, and the mid movie animation, though clever, didn’t work for me. Finally, there’s Krampus. What a cool villain, and yet the facial movements and expressions of the creature fell on the cheesier spectrum of special effects (I think it only blinked), and there was a lot more that could have been done to capitalize on the horror elements of this villain.

While sparse on scares and frights, and inconsistent in the capabilities of Krampus’ helpers (in addition to the convenient English speaking abilities of the wise grandmother), the movie shines in creepy atmospherics and comedic interactions and moments, not to mention all around strong acting performances from all of the characters involved, young and old.

Overall, worth seeing and a fun holiday horror treat. I recommend this film; um, just leave reality at the ticket booth.

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