As World War I rages out of control; a group of doughboys find an ancient book…which gets sent back to the good ol’ U.S. of A. after the soldiers meet their end in battle. The tome ends up in the hands of the commanding officer’s widow…who teaches at a small-town orphanage populated by the kind of dumb ass kids who can’t leave an incredibly evil artifact alone, which has the undesirable side effect of unleashing everyone’s fav Germanic Christmas demon, Krampus, which they must then try and defeat!
In theory, Krampus Origins has a hell of a lot going for it. It has an original premise (kids in the early 20th Century taking on a mythical demon from Europe…right fuckin’ on!), some solid performances (especially from genre legend Maria Olsen…though the young leads are rather good as well), and solid set dressing; including period accurate costumes, and a great prop in that aforementioned evil book, which is realized in a top shelf manner (all dark bound arcane inscribed pages and devilish intent). Also of note is the ‘man-in-suit’ (with digitally augmented eyes and torch) presentation of the eponymous creature, that while not at all similar to what’s presented on the poster art for this flick, is fun nevertheless…but he’s also a huge problem as well…
For a film named Krampus Origins that mother fucker sure as shit makes himself scarce, only appearing in full after an hour and seven minutes or so (out of an hour and twenty four minute run time)…and that is some real bullshit boils n’ ghouls. i loved this bad-ass beastie and expected to see more of him; and what is there is quality, including the final showdown with our rag-tag group of heroes, I’d wager the film would have flowed better and been more balanced with a lot more “creature” in the “feature” rather than so much time spent on dour orphans.
To sum it up; Krampus Origins is a solid effort with a unique and engaging concept, but sadly the whole affair could have benefited from more monster mayhem; especially since what was there was so well presented.