Mashing together a Christmas movie with the horror/comedy genre tends to go poorly. The result is usually hackneyed slasher schlock like Jack Frost or Black Christmas. Capturing the spirit of the holiday season is a difficult thing to accomplish if you’re also trying to establish an appropriate tone where you can alternate between monster attacks and comedy. The gold standard will always be Joe Dante’s Gremlins, but Michael Dougherty has a viable competitor in Krampus. This film succeeds where others fail largely because it doesn’t insist upon offering us a warm-and-fuzzy interpretation of “holiday spirit”. As Krampus shows, there is a much darker side to the holidays.