Movie Chat: Krampus

This movie review is courtesy of Toni V. Sweeney. I caught this on TV after Toni wrote me about reviewing this dark Christmas tale. Good review.  Toni also shares information on her interesting looking novel The Story of a Peace-Loving Man.




He’s making a list and checking it twice…gonna find out who’s naughty or nice…

It isn’t St. Nicholas, but Krampus who follows up on those pieces of coal bad boys and girls find in their shoes on Christmas morning. He’s the one you’d better not be naughty around.  One might consider him a parody of the Jolly Old Gentleman in the red suit. Humpbacked, cloven-hoofed, and horned, he seems more devil than Christmas spirit, dragging chains and locks wrapped around his hooded form like Marley’s ghost (NOTE: Must check if Dickens had heard of Krampus). He’s definitely the one nobody talks about, so that’s why we haven’t heard of him.

He seems to keep a low profile…

There are two Krampus movies, and it’s a pity I was unable to view both and compare…or perhaps not…

The one I did see is a difficult movie to categorize because it has such a slow build-up.  For a good portion of the first of the film, it merely looks like one of those holiday movies passing for comedies which really aren’t…about people enduring several days with unbearable in-laws…and these obnoxious guys are certainly ones I’d hope never to be related to. Through it all, young Max clings to the hope Christmas will be merry.

Doesn’t happen.

The catalyst comes when Max, after being humiliated by his older cousins, declares he hates Christmas. Tearing up his letter to Santa, he flings it out the window, to be caught by an icy updraft of wind and whirled away. Overnight everything changes to a nightmare, with the world icebound and nowhere to escape…and all the lovely icons and symbols of Christmas take on a deadly sharp and sinister edge.

It would seem the entire neighborhood is under the spell so one must assume everyone in the community is too disillusioned to live. It wouldn’t been a nice touch if someone…anyone…had still held on to enough of his innocence to survive, but…

At least the family in question doesn’t sit around and wait for something to happen. They run head-on to face it and do try to fight back, a refreshing change from most “horror” movies.

The movie has its shock moments and a few jolts along the way. It’s remarkably unbloody (it is a Christmas movie, after all) and whatever happens generally occurs out of sight. There are lulls when everything seems to return to normal, the feuding family bonds briefly, then a second wave of fright hits, and another, and…

I suppose it might be summed up as a cautionary tale against clinging too much to childhood memories as life changes, or perhaps not clinging to them tightly enough, as well as being careful what you wish for, in case, as does young Max, you get it.  (By the way, repentance doesn’t make a difference in this scenario.)

The ending is also a twister, making one groan, “Oh no, they’re not falling back on that old chestnut as a finish?” and then realizing something much better…or worse…has happened.

I can see Krampus being hauled out each year as a holiday movie, right up there with It’s a Great Life (of which I rapidly tired when it was shown on five channels simultaneously). After one or two viewings, it may actually grow on the viewer with hidden meanings and could cause some interesting debates.

I think in the long run, the viewer will either love it or hate it, with no in-between. In the end, it may have a good many of us thinking seriously about calling off that next holiday family gathering if it means we have to endure people we wouldn’t associate with the rest of the year…especially if doing so might make Santa’s Evil Twin come a-calling.

This movie was viewed as a DVD and no remuneration was involved in the writing of this review.




Toni shares information her her novel The Story of a Peace-Loving Man






Against the background of an interplanetary war comes the story of Allan McAllister and N’Sagar sh’en Singh.

He’s a Paxist, a believer in peace, forced by the United Terran Federation into military service to punish his treasonous kinsman. She’s the daughter of a Felidan pride chief, one of the enemy, but there’s no hatred in her heart for the lone Terran marooned on her planet.

Thrown together, then torn from each other by the aftermath of a war neither wanted, their love will be a tragedy and a triumph as a man sworn to walk the road of Peace is made to follow the dictates of War and suffer its consequences.

This is their story…




He was in the line with all the others, dressed in his Federation-issue fatigues, duffel bag resting at his left ankle. The Sarge was going down the line, comparing names on the screen of his hand unit with the little holographic ID tags hanging around each recruit’s neck.

He stopped when he came to Allan. “Well, well…who do we have here?”

Thinking the man actually expected an answer, Allan replied, “Allan Malcolm McAllister, sir.”

“Did I give you permission to speak?”

“Well, no, sir. But I— ”

“Then keep quiet, recruit!” He turned to the others. “Gentleman… ” Even that word was deliver with a modicum of irony Allan would learn was the Sarge’s normal speaking voice. Odd how Southern accents fitted themselves so well to that mode of delivery. “We have here the relative of a very famous personage, or infamous, I should say. Mr. McAllister is the nephew of… Why don’t you tell us, Mr. McAllister?”   When Allan didn’t answer, he leaned forward and went on in a stage whisper, “You may speak now, Mr. McAllister.”

“Egan Rand.” Allan supplied the name very quietly.

“What?” The DI cupped one hand to his ear, “What was that? I didn’t quite catch that.”

“Egad Rand!” Allan answered, louder.

“Egan Rand. That’s right. The traitor who thinks we should love the Felidans instead of killing them. Who wants the Federation to stop the war and welcome those murderous aliens with open arms.”

“I don’t think that’s— ”

“I don’t care what you think, McAllister! Isn’t your uncle a fugitive from Federation justice for preaching sedition by urging our young men not to enlist?”

“Yes, sir, he’s a fugitive, but that’s not exactly—”

“Well, then?”

“If I could explain, sir.”

“Oh, by all means, please. Explain.”

“No one knows why the Felidans attacked Ferris Alpha.  My uncle thinks we should find out the reason. Maybe the Felidans feel they were justified. H-he thinks if we know why they did it, maybe it can be resolved without a war…”

“Well, now, that sounds reasonable enough, doesn’t it?” That slow, deep accent fairly dripped sarcasm. “Love thy neighbor. Now, I know that’s what Christos taught, and it’s what each of you dewey-eyed innocents heard when your Mamas took you to church every Sunday, but in that Bible each of you were issued along with your LX-15, it also says, an eye for an eye and do unto others—”

Spittle flew as the Sarge ranted. Allan blinked to keep from being struck in the eye by a globule. He forced himself not to flinch, didn’t dare dodge or reach up to wipe his face, just stood there, feeling the bit of wet trickle down his cheek.

“Quite frankly, I think that’s what we ought to do. We ought to take a couple of dirty laser bombs and drop ’em on Felida and wipe out all of those murderous bastards…” He broke off to survey the young faces a moment before continuing, his tone now mild in shocking contrast to his previous angry one. “But use of those type of weapons was banned at the Jovian Covention of 2120, so we’re going to do the next best thing. We’re going to use our gunboats to kill as many of ’em as possible. As for you…” He swung back to Allan. “As a little reminder to keep your mouth shut and not spread any of your uncle’s crap, drop and give me fifty!”

“Fifty what, sir?” Allan didn’t move.

“Are you smart-assing me, McAllister?”

“N-no sir. Fifty Credits? I-I don’t have that much cash—”

“Fifty push-ups you idiot! Now!”

While the rest of the company marched off to the barracks, Allan flung himself to the ground and performed the requested callisthenics, calmly counted out by the corporal.



About the Author:

Toni V. Sweeney has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art and a diploma in Graphic Art and also produces book videos. Since the publication of her first novel in 1989, Toni divides her time between writing SF/Fantasy under her own name and romances under her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone. Her novels have garnered awards from The National Writers Association, Preditors & Editors, The Maryland Writers Association, and The Paranormal Romance Guild. In March, 2013, she became publicity manager for Class Act Books. She is also on the review staff of the New York Journal of Books and the Paranormal Romance Guild.  Recently she was named a professional reader by

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