HOLLYWOOD—When I first saw the trailer to the holiday-themed movie “Krampus,” I knew I had heard of that name before in the past. For those not in the know, Krampus is based on Alpine folklore of a creature that punishes kids who have behaved badly during the Christmas season.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a fan of holiday-themed horror flicks. I actually think it’s in bad taste, especially when we come to the festive holiday of Christmas. Flicks like “Jack Frost” (the one with the snowman), “Black Christmas” and “Silent Night, Deadly Night” did their best to tempt audiences during the Christmas holiday. The problem lies in the fact that such imagery can be placed into the fragile minds of kids during Christmastime. It’s kinda difficult to explain to kids that Santa isn’t a bad guy when they’re seeing other things depicted on the TV.

Anyways, “Krampus” while a horror flick, actually has comedic overtones that limit the amount of fear and scares that can invade the mindset. The narrative follows Tom (Adam Scott) and Sarah (Toni Collette) as they gather for the holidays with their kids and other family members.

What the movie does well is place the audience into the shoes of the characters having to deal with that awkward family dinner where you’re forced to put a smile on the face, while every single fiber in your body is telling you to run like hell.

It is a sibling rivalry between Max (Emjay Anthony) and his cousins that causes the kid to release a bit of anger and unsuspectedly unearth an ancient evil that torments the family over the days leading up to Christmas. Like any horror flick all the bad things that can happen in a horror flick take place: a wicked storm moves in, the power goes out and people start to disappear.

While the family does their best comprehend what is transpiring, they learn from Tom’s mother Omi (Krista Sadler) that they are being tormented by the devious spirit of Krampus who arrives when people lose the holiday spirit. What is so surprising about this flick is that I found it thoroughly entertaining. I was actually on the edge of my seat and intrigued to find out just how things would end.

As a spectator you start to identify with the characters, their plight and what one might do in a similar situation. Now for the disclaimer, “Krampus” is NOT for kids. I absolutely am against any parent allowing their small ones to see this flick. I’d actually say anyone under 11 shouldn’t see the flick. It could potentially leave the kiddies with some nightmares that you would prefer not to deal with.

It’s apparent that writer/director Michael Dougherty knows what he’s doing in the horror world as evidenced in “Krampus.” His previous anthology film “Trick ‘r Treat” is a sign of his craft behind the camera. If you want to see a movie that goes against EVERYTHING that we adore about the Christmas holidays festive energy, “Krampus” is the movie to see.