Tag Archives: Krampus

Movie Review: HANGMAN

HANGMAN

A good crime story is about seeing all the elements in a set of circumstances falling into place one by one. “Hangman” fits the bill as it proves to be a competent thriller. This has Al Pacino, a personal favorite. The lead, however, edges a bit closer to Karl Urban, who commands the screen with a measured presence. There are enough chills and thrills to this for me to recommend it. I would not put it up there with anything iconic like, say, “Silence of the Lambs,” but it is well-crafted. I don’t especially seek out serial killer thrillers. I do understand their popularity so I remain open-minded to the genre. In this case, like the title suggests, this is a crowd-pleaser. And, for at least one particular scene, it did keep me on the edge of my seat.

Again, keep in mind that the great Al Pacino plays Ray Archer, a homicide detective here. Pacino brings some very compelling moments to this movie. His authority gives everything on the screen legitimacy. He makes the gritty that much more gritty. And he’s definitely a thoughtful and generous actor who brings out the best in his co-stars, Karl Urban and Brittany Snow. Urban plays Will Ruiney, the detective still grieving over the mysterious murder of his wife. Snow plays Christi Davies, the embedded reporter in what rapidly becomes the greatest case ever confronted by Archer and Ruiney. Pacino also inspires other key players: Sarah Shahi as Capt. Watson; Joe Anderson as Hangman; and Sloane Warren as Dr. Abby Westlin.

If you’re a fan of police procedurals, especially of the CSI variety, there is plenty to like here. I thought the scenes in the morgue were well above average. Sloane Warren steals the show as the coroner, Dr. Abby Westlin. She turns out to be an old pal of Archer who, by the way, has come out of retirement for this big case. It seems as if every bit of her background is put to use. There is another scene, as things are heating up, where Westlin’s skills of deduction lead everyone closer to finding the killer. And that is essential since this killer is killing people as casually as a game of hangman.

As an ensemble cast, Pacino, Urban, and Snow work quite well together. Their characters make sense and naturally grow as the plot develops. This is directed by Johnny Martin, with a script from Michael Caissie and Charles Huttinger. It is currently available for viewing through Google. While this is not exactly going to put you in the holiday mood, it may hit the spot when seeking a change of pace in your movie viewing this month. Who knew “Krampus” would do so well, right? Think of this as sort of a “Krampus” crime thriller.

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Filed under Crime Fiction, Movie Reviews, movies

Santa Has a Shadow: KRAMPUS

Krampus movie

The shadow brings balance to the light. And so it is even for Santa Claus. When was the last time you saw a really good Christmas horror movie? Well, now we have “Krampus,” the movie. And as writer/director Michael Dougherty makes clear in the interview below, the dark side to Christmas isn’t new. Consider, for instance, the chilling Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” or the noirish Frank Capra classic, “It’s a Wondefrul Life.” Below is footage from the KRAMPUS premiere with writer/director/producer Michael Dougherty, writer/producer Zach Shields and writer Todd Casey:

Krampus is the one-man cleanup crew for all the naughty boys and girls. Seems like Santa couldn’t be in charge of everything. Maybe he had no choice. The origins of Krampus go further back than Santa Claus. By the 17th century, folklore had teamed up Krampus and Santa. Perhaps we’ve made a mistake to separate these two for American tastes. Then again, for the purposes of this movie, we want Krampus to work alone.

While I would never begrudge anyone’s enjoyment of a traditional family comedy this season, we need its polar opposite: typical family gathering but with bloody horror. Oh sure, and a touch of comedy. “Krampus” stars Toni Collette, Adam Scott, David Koechner, and Conchata Ferrell. Writer/director Michael Dougherty has contributed to the screenplays for “X-Men 2,” “Urban Legends: Bloody Mary” and “Superman Returns” before directing his debut, “Trick ‘r Treat” in 2007.

KRAMPUS release date in the U.S. is this Friday, December 4, 2015.

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Filed under Holidays, movies, Universal Studios