New this week On Demand from Proportion Productions!
MOTHER KRAMPUS (2017)
aka THE CURSE OF FRAU PARCHTA, 12 DEATHS OF CHRISTMAS
Directed by James Klass
Written by Scott Jeffrey & James Klass
Starring Claire-Maria Fox, Faye Goodwin, Tony Manders, Michelle Archer, Tara MacGowran, Dottie James, Oliver Ebsworth, Sian Crisp, Amy Burrows, Becca Hirani, Tim Freeman, Oliver John Lee, Penelope Read, Emily McQueen, Amelia Godfrey, Tom Bowen, Clayton Frake, Jean Frake, Nimoy Summerscale, & Henry W. Smith
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MOTHER KRAMPUS goes extremely dark at times, especially when it seems as if it has a rather saccharine soul to it. It’s not a perfect film, but for a low fi Christmas horror, it really takes some chances, making it something that might tickle the fancy for those looking got holiday horror.
About 25 years ago, a woman was lynched and killed by a superstitious town looking for a scapegoat for children going missing. The town had previously been haunted by stories of a woman named Frau Parchta—a witch who preyed on children in the 1800’s. Now in the present, some kind of malevolent force is murdering those who share the bloodline of those who murdered the accused witch. As the bodies fall, the witch and all of her power make their way to a young girl named Amy’s house, just in time to gather the souls of her mother, father, grandpa, and friends.
MOTHER KRAMPUS is a low budgeter for sure and while the final act may suffer from that, the film itself is rather ballsy despite half of its cast being youngsters. The first hour of the film proves to be rather moody, involving a slow creep into realizing what is going on. The mystery of who is actually taking out these kids and enacting vengeance upon the small town is revealed, but there are core details omitted until the final act that I felt made the whole film function nicely as a little mystery.
Unfortunately, in the final moments, effectiveness of the more in your face horror seems to be a bit out of reach due to the budget of the film. I feel that if the siege on the home were as subtle as the mystery, this would have been a much more effective film all around. The small confines of the home makes the parts where the witch attacks feel cramped and clumsy. Had the film taken a tighter approach with more close-ups and shadow, I think these attacks might have resonated more. That said, the film utilizes simple fright makeup rather well (the acting of the witch adds to the creepiness).
As I said, I liked the final reveal of the film which takes the entire film on a pretty dark path. I admire what MOTHER KRAMPUS was trying to do. It’s a film that makes you feel as if no one is safe. It makes me look past the obvious low budget, acting flubs, and other shortcuts. While it’s not really about a Krampus, MOTHER KRAMPUS does tell a dark holiday tale with an unexpected resolution.