Early Screener Review: Krampus Unleashed (2016)
In pursuit of buried treasure, a group of fortune hunters unearth an ancient demonic summoning stone that holds a terrible curse and awakens a timeless evil, the Krampus. After centuries of slumber, Krampus has awoken with a thirst for blood.
REVIEW: Uncork'd Entertainment must have stumbled upon the work I do with my various B-Movie review blogs and decided to send along a few Screeners my way for early review as they mysteriously and randomly showed up in my mailbox recently. Now, Uncork'd is a company I kind of have a love/hate relationship with. I dislike 90% of what they put out, but as all my regular readers know, The Asylum is easily my favorite B-Movie company and Uncork'd reminds me so very much of early-day Asylum, back when they were first starting out, so even though I've disliked most of what Uncork'd puts out, I still kind of have a soft spot for them because of that.
They released another Krampus movie around this time last year, Krampus: The Reckoning, which I really didn't like very much. Other than the demon's name being Krampus it really had nothing whatsoever to do with the Krampus lore, or even Christmas, not to mention all the terrible production-aspect issues that hampered my enjoyment of it. I was really hoping that Krampus Unleashed wouldn't be a sequel to that one, and luckily, as it turns out, it is not.
I'm also happy to report that this can fall under the small list of Uncork'd titles that I actually kind of enjoy...sort of.
Now, it's far from a good movie. Despite taking place at Christmas there's no snow to be found as it takes place in a desert, the Krampus in this yet again bares little to no resemblance to the actual Krampus of legend and is instead more like a supernatural Sasquatch (though still far more interesting than the Krampus demon from their other movie), the acting is pretty eye-rolling, the man-in-suit costume for Krampus is laughably 'dollar store' bad, and the camera work and editing is extremely amateurish. However, I thought the characters were actually written pretty well and had a fun and interesting family dynamic to them, the dialogue was genuinely funny when it was supposed to be, and the death scenes were certainly never boring.
With that said, its biggest issue is one that I find is a pretty recurring issue with Uncork'd movies - practically nothing happens for the majority of the movie and it goes so so so long in between the rare scene that we do get where something happens. The movie is pretty short, just barely over an hour, yet it feels so much longer because for the majority of it nothing at all happens, and I find almost every Uncork'd movie I've watched has that same pacing problem. At least this one though has some fun characters and comedic dialog to get us through it.
Don't get me wrong, Krampus Unleashed is in no way a 'good' movie, but as far as the filmography of Uncork'd Entertainment goes this is definitely one of their better (or at least, one of their less painful) movies. With that said, it still features a lot of the same issues that plague almost all of their movies to date.
4/10 Rooms in the Psych Ward