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Krampus: The Naughty Cut (Shout! Factory) UHD/Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Krampus: The Naughty Cut (Shout! Factory) UHD/Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: November 26th, 2021.
    Director: Michael Dougherty
    Cast: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Emjay Anthony
    Year: 2015
    Purchase From Shout! Factory

    Krampus: The Naughty Cut - Movie Review:

    Max (Emjay Anthony) is big into Christmas, so when the season rolls around he's understandably excited not just about presents, but being with family and enjoying the traditions that the holidays typically entail. His parents, Tom (Adam Scott) and Sarah (Toni Collette), plays host to the rest of the family - Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell), their uncle Howard (David Koechner) and his wife Linda (Allison Tolman) and their kids Howie Jr. (Maverick Flack), Jordan (Queenie Samuel) and Stevie (Lolo Owen). Everyone, save for Max, is fairly miserable - the holidays can be a lot to take on sometimes.

    When a snowstorm moves in fast and strands everyone in the house, Max's teenaged sister, Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen), insists on going down the street to visit her boyfriend. She doesn't come back, leading Tom and gun nut Howard to head out to look for her. What they don't realize is that the snow is the least of their problems. It would seem the ill feelings that the family has towards Christmas has summoned the vengeful Krampus, a supernatural being who comes not to shower people with gifts, but to punish them. All the while Max's grandmother, Omi (Krista Stadler), seems to know far more about this than anyone else does.

    The cast all play their parts well but there's really very little character development here and that's a problem. Koechner is a slightly more intelligent take on Randy Quaid's cousin Eddie from the National Lampoon's Vacation films, complete with the meek wife well played here by Fargo's Allison Tolman and the bratty kids in tow. Adam Scott and Toni Collette are fine as Max's parents, Scott in particular has great comedic timing and a knack for delivering sarcasm really well, but we never get to really know much about any of these people. Max is a nice enough kid, his sister is a bit of a brat but then most teenage girls are. And Omi, well, she comes from the old country we're to assume but her connection to what is going on isn't really fleshed out.

    The end result is an exercise in style over substance with as much emphasis on comedy as on horror. Which would be fine, if the comedy were good enough to carry the picture but it's not. The jokes here aren't horrible, but they won't have you rolling on the floor either. They're mildly amusing, which really describes the movie as a whole. The effects are really solid and the movie looks great. There are excellent ideas at play here, some of which are genuinely unsettling and creepy enough to make you pay attention. Once the end credits hit the screen, however, you're just sort of done with it. The movie entertains in moderately enjoyable fits and starts but leaves absolutely no lasting impression whatsoever. And that is odd, considering that the technical side of the film is excellent and that the creature design and effects work kicks all sorts of ass. This is basically Gremlins meets Christmas Vacation, except that it isn't as good as either of those pictures. Give the filmmakers an A for effort, better luck next time.
    Note that this release from Shout! Factory includes “The Naughty Cut” of the film that includes additional some extended bits of gore and some nastier language that was cut to get a PG-13 rating. It doesn't change the tone of quality of the movie all that much, but it is fun to see it presented in a stronger cut than what we had prior. The original PG-13 cut of the film is not included here.

    Krampus: The Naughty Cut - UHD Review:

    This UHD 4k upgrade of Krampus: The Naughty Cut arrives in an HEVC encoded 2160p high definition transfer with HDR framed at 2.40.1 widescreen with Dolby Vision and HDR 10 enhancement. This was shot digitally and finish in 2k so this presentation is an upscale. That said, it offers a pretty nice viewing presentation. Colors are handled quite nicely, though keep in mind that much of the movie is intentionally very dark in appearance. Black levels are solid and while detail doesn't rise to the levels of a native 4k presentation, it's quite strong, especially in close up shots. Compression is never a problem here and, obviously, there can't be any print damage. Skin tones look nice and there's good depth and texture present here.

    English language audio options are provided in Dolby Atmos as well as 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 options with removable subtitles offered up in English only. This Atmos mix if fantastic, very enveloping with plenty of very distinct surround activity noticeable throughout, coming at you from pretty much every angle possible. Bass response is very strong and very tight but it never buries anything in the mix, the dialogue is always easy to understand and follow. The score is very rich and has lots of depth to it and there are no problems with any hiss or distortion to note. The movie sounds fantastic on this release.

    The only extra on the first disc, which is the UHD, is a commentary with director/co-writer Michael Dougherty and co-writers Todd Casey and Zach Shields that is genuinely informative. They spend a fair bit of time discussing the ideas and inspiration for the film, the folk lore behind it, and how they transported it to modern day suburban America. There's also discussion and admiration for the admittedly very strong accomplishments of the special effects team, some talk of casting the picture and their thoughts on the performances and quite a bit more.

    That same commentary is also included on the second disc, which is a Blu-ray, along with quite a bit of new extra content. First up is A Dash of Mischief, a nineteen minute interview with Michael Dougherty. He goes over his intentions with this film and talks about the contributions of the cast and crew. Storm of the Centuries interviews producer Todd Casey for eight minutes where he goes over his involvement in the film, working with Dougherty and his thoughts on the movie. The Great Protector is an interview with actor David Koechner that runs nine minutes where he speaks about his thoughts on his character, working with the cast and crew and more. Something Bad Happened on Christmas interviews actress Allison Tolman for just under twelve minutes where she covers her role in the picture, thoughts on her character, getting along with everyone on set and on the movie overall. Max's Journey is a five minute interview with actor Emjay Anthony that follows suit, going over his thoughts on the character and what it was like on set. Lord Of The Things is a ten minute interview with WETA's Richard Taylor that goes over how he got involved with the film, what it was like on set, some of the challenges that arose during the film and more. Storyboard artist Simeon Wilkins gets on camera for the eight minute Mapping Mythology where he goes over what went into creating the storyboards for the film and trying to bring Dougherty's vision for the film to life. Up next is I, Krampus, which interviews Luke Hawker for eleven minutes about his role in the film and experiences on set. The last of the new featurettes is A Winter Chorus, which interviews composer Douglas Pipes about what went into creating the film's fairly epic score for eight minutes.

    Krampus Comes Alive is a twenty-nine minute piece that compiles the five featurettes from the original Blu-ray and allows you to watch them all or individually. Dougherty's Vision gives director Michael Dougherty a chance to talk about his personal attempts to create something unique with this picture. Inputs from various cast and crew members would seem to indicate that pretty much everyone really enjoyed working with him on the film. The cast themselves get a bit of supplemental love in a featurette called The Naughty Ones: Meet The Cast. This featurette allows the different cast members to talk up their characters and discuss their experiences working on the picture - it's done with a good sense of humor and if it's not all that revelatory it is frequently very funny and worth watching for that reason. Krampus And His Minions is a look behind the scenes at how the good people at New Zealand's WETA handled the creature effects that play such a big role in the film. Practical Danger is a piece in which the film's Stunt Coordinator, Rodney Cook, shows what went into crafting some of the more intricate action set pieces and the stunts that were involved there. Given that most of these scenes involve a mix of digital and practical effects as well as living, breathing, human children, you can understand how it wasn't always easy. Inside The Snowglobe: Production Design explores how the soundstages that were created for the movie were put together, the detail that was required to make them into convincing replacements for actual locations, and how the effects and props needed for the film were incorporated into all of this.
    Behind The Scenes At WETA Workshop: Krampus is, as you could probably have guessed, another look at the work WETA put into creating the creature effects and other otherworldly beings that populate the film. Dougherty's Vision gives director Michael Dougherty a chance to talk about his personal attempts to create something unique with this picture. Inputs from various cast and crew members would seem to indicate that pretty much everyone really enjoyed working with him on the film.

    Outside of that we get an Alternate Ending, a few deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel, a few still galleries, animated menus and chapter selection. As far as the packaging goes, Shout! Factory offers up this release with a slipcover and some reversible cover sleeve art.

    Krampus: The Naughty Cut - The Final Word:

    Krampus isn't the classic Christmas horror film you might want it to be but it's entertaining enough thanks to some nice effects and a pretty fun cast. The film does play better in this stronger cut, and Shout! Factory has done a great job on the film's special edition UHD release, carrying over all of the extras from the previous release, throwing in quite a few new featurettes and offering the film in a very strong presentation with reference quality audio.

    Click on the images below for full sized Krampus: The Naughty Cut Blu-ray screen caps!






























    • Darcy Parker
      #1
      Darcy Parker
      Senior Member
      Darcy Parker commented
      Editing a comment
      I remember this being hyped up after how good the director's prior film, Trick 'r Treat was, and not even getting ten minutes into Krampus due to the utterly grating, unfunny "comedy" and shutting it off. Tremendously disappointing.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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