Monday, January 15, 2018

Batman 66 - Episodes 5-8 Reviews

For the second batch of episodes I'm looking at, we've got the Clown Prince Of Crime and a rather chilly customer making their debuts as the Caped Crusaders grapples with both them, the threat of their identities being public knowledge and saving a kidnapped sportsman.

1x05: The Joker Is Wild

I'm glad but not remotely surprised that it didn't take long for the Joker to pop up in the series and it should go without saying that outside of Mark Hamill's take on the role, Cesar Romero is one of the best versions we've had of the character. With this episode, the Joker audaciously breaks out of Gotham State Penitentiary and soon encounters both Batman and Robin during a robbery, until he's outsmarted by the Caped Crusader's utility. One thing I liked about this two parter (and I liked lots of stuff) was the Joker actually took the time to try and come up with his own utility belt and the cliffhanger where he nearly came close to revealing both Batman and Robin's secret identities to the whole country was rather clever. 8/10

1x06: Batman Is Riled

While the cliffhanger to the previous episode is resolved a little too quickly for my liking, this was another cracker of an episode though. Having failed to publicly expose the Caped Crusaders identity on live television, the Joker then decides to nab them during a christening of a boat in order to publicly execute them instead. It's just one extreme to another with the Clown Prince but while his plan was reasonably sound (for the Joker of course), Batman and Robin did manage to save themselves just in the nick of time. 7/10

1x07: Instant Freeze

This one is interesting but probably because it's one of three times we'd see the Dynamic Duo encounter Mr Freeze or Doctor Schievel as he was formerly known before conditions forced him to live in sub zero temperatures. Like another Rogues Gallery member, Freeze would be played by three different actors in the series, with this two parter featuring George Sanders as the chilly menace. This version looks closer to human than his later versions and there's a good cliffhanger here when he puts both Batman and Robin on ice. In the midst of that, there's also a plot to steal a diamond from the visiting Princess Sandra of Molino. 8/10

1x08: Rats Like Cheese

The second part of the first Freeze story, with again, a reasonably quick save for the frozen Dynamic Duo. If it sounds like I'm criticising, I'm not, it's just an observations. Anyways, this episode sees Freeze and his men kidnap baseball player Paul Diamante (Robert Hogan) before Batman trades himself in for the sportsman as part of Freeze's ultimate revenge plan. I have to point out here to liking the design of Freeze's chilly layer and the use of the red heat light during certain moments before Schieval is eventually apprehended. There's also an amusing last scene at a Wayne Manor party where Dick rejects the choice of Baked Alaska for dessert. 8/10

Next blog will delve into Zelda The Great/A Death Worse Than Fate and A Riddle A Day Keeps The Riddler Away/When the Rat's Away The Mice Will Play

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Celebrity Big Brother 2018 - Year Of The Woman

Ah, the start of January where some shows are either returning from a brief hiatus or going on them and also that time of year when Channel 5 dole out the first of two editions of Celebrity Big Brother as the civilian version continues to lose people.

And our 16 celebrities (now 15) this year are journalist Rachel Johnson, Kardashian friend Malika Haqq, Rochdale detective, Maggie Oliver, former Corrie actress Amanda Barrie, DJ Ashley James, former MP Ann Widdecomb, reality TV star Jess Impiazzi and trans journalist/TV presenter India Willoughby. For the first four days and keeping with the Year Of The Woman subtitle, it was a girls only house but by the fourth day the boys were also added into the mix. For the lads this included various reality people like Shane Jenek/Courtney Act, Andrew Brady, Dapper Laughs, Jonny Mitchell as well as 90s r'n'b singer, Ginuwine, former Boyzone star Shane Lynch, footballer John Barnes and ballet dancer, Wayne Sleep.

In recent months, the #MeToo campaign has been very prominent in the public eye, given the fallout of the recent Harvey Weinstein scandals and with gender based issues being more prominent in the media as well just of late, I wasn't entirely sure that it was a good idea as such to have this as a theme for the new series. Given that social media has become too conflated in the issue at times here, having this could've put some viewers off but it seems to have for the first fortnight generated some interesting debates among both male and female housemates as India vocally discussed her own issues as a transwoman while Courtney Act also provided some insightful commentary into gender issues as well for certain housemates. I have to admit there was also a good discussion among the lads over the likes of Weinstein and Trump earlier in the week as well.

Speaking of India though, she was the first housemate to leave in last night's eviction episode, which allowed Jonny Mitchell another week in the house and I have to admit to being genuinely surprised that she left. Given the show's overt love of conflict and the fact that India was providing it in spades, I genuinely thought that would've kept her in the house for a bit longer. When it comes to India, the only thing I can say is that she really was her own worst enemy in the house. While Courtney/Shane was a lot more patient and willing to explain things to other housemates, India always seemed to be in defense mode and in the end it became her own undoing. In a way, it's a shame because in her exit interview with Emma Willis, India was quite calm and reflective and had we seen that side of her in the house, she really could've gone far in the house.

As for the rest of the house, I have to admit there are a lot of people I really like in this current series. It should without saying how fantastic I think Courtney/Shane J is but there's also the likes of Shane Lynch (his discussion about former band member, Stephen Gately was lovely), as well as Ashley, Jess and Malika all being likeable. Amanda has endeared herself as well with her own frank discussions and being unafraid to call India out on things and I can't fault the likes of Rachel, Ginuwine, Wayne or John either. In terms of least favourites I guess it's going to be Ann Widdecombe (some of her comments are horrific, though Shane J is brilliant at cutting her down to size) or Dapper, whose laddish humour (and I don't generally mind laddish humour) is just a bit much at times. Andrew and Jonny are reasonably inoffensive although the latter needs to come out of his shell a bit more. I'm not particularly interested in the blatant showmance between Ashley and Ginuwine, though it's nowhere near as cloying as past ones we've had while the bromance between Andrew and Shane J/Courtney has been entertaining enough. Even some of the cliched gender based tasks have been surprisingly amusing at times. Of course there's another fortnight or so to go so whether or not this current series can maintain it's entertainment value is hard to tell.

Celebrity Big Brother airs Mondays-Sundays on Channel 5 from 9pm.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Batman 66 - Episodes 1-4 Reviews

On this day 52 years ago, ABC debuted the campest version of the Caped Crusader with Adam West in the title role of Batman and Burt Ward as the Boy Wonder, Robin himself and because of that, now seems the perfect time to kick off my episode reviews for the series that I rewatched properly a couple of weeks ago.

1x01: Hi Diddle Riddle

I'm a fan of the Riddler as a villain but I have to admit to being genuinely surprised that he was the first choice of antagonist for the Dynamic Duo to face off. I'm not saying that's a bad thing but it did surprise me a little. Anyways, Frank Gorshin is fantastic in the role from the off and the Riddler's scheme to have Batman brought to court to unveil his true identity is a stroke of genius. Keeping with some popular tropes, the cliffhanger to this first episode resulted in Robin being captured and nearly operated on by the Riddler and his henchmen while a surprising highlight was seeing some of Batman's dance moves in a nightclub. 7/10

1x02: Smack In The Middle

The second part to this opening two part story keeps the pace of the story going well. Having poor Molly (who will be in a long line of misguided female assistants for the villains of the week) disguise herself as Robin, only to die a quick death in the Batcave was actually pretty shocking. The show's violence has at best edged on the cartoon end of the scale but this was one of the rare times where someone actually died on the show and it's suitably grim as well. Of course, Robin is rescued himself and the Riddler is promptly defeated. The interesting thing about this opening story aside from the swift introductions to recurring characters Alfred Pennyworth (Alan Napier), Dick's aunt Harriet Cooper (Madge Blake), Commission Gordon (Neil Hamilton) and Chief O'Hara (Stafford Repp) is that Riddler like nearly every enemy that appears in the series already has a pre-existing history with the Dynamic Duo. 7/10

1x03: Fine Feathered Finks

For the second two parter, it was the turn of the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), who to be honest, was probably the villain that showed up the most in the show's three season run. For his first story, the Penguin has been released from prison and wants revenge, so he tries to get Batman to choose his crimes. This then led to Bruce Wayne (and not for the first time in the show) going undercover and visiting Penguin's KGBird store to try and ruffle his feathers, only to end up getting netted and left to nearly roast in a furnace. This show certainly knew how to do a cliffhanger. 7/10

1x04: The Penguin's A Jinx

The second part quickly resolved Bruce's fiery dilemma while at the same time moving the action towards the Penguin setting off his true goal - kidnapping movie starlet Dawn Robbins (Leslie Parrish) and this was certainly the episode where the Penguin's many umbrellas came into play in a big way. I do like the back and forth double crossing as the Dynamic Duo and Penguin tried to outsmart the other while the latter's plans came afoul at the last minute. There's also a nice little bit where Commisioner Gordon explains to the audience the reason behind Batman's costume. 7/10

Next blog will delve into The Joker Is Wild/Batman Is Riled and Instant Freeze/Rats Like Cheese.

Friday, January 05, 2018

DC TV Shows - Some Updates

My first blog of 2018 and it's a DC TV related one. Anyways, some news about the three newest DC shows that audiences can expect pretty soon.

First of all, Black Lightning is coming very soon. In fact, less than a fortnight away as it's first season will be paired with The Flash for Tuesday nights with Cress Williams playing the title role on the show. For now, there will be no connection to the Arrow universe but I wouldn't be too shocked if that changes sooner than later. The CW have now also released a photo of Nafessa Williams as Thunder/Anissa Pierce, the daughter of the show's title character, Jeff Pierce, showing that heroism will be a family trait on the show. The show's first season will run for 13 episodes and also stars  China Anne McClain, Christine Adams, James Remar, Damon Gupton, and Marvin "Krondon" Jones III. Also LGBT fans will be delighted to know that Anissa will have a love interest in fellow hero, Grace Choi, played by Chantal Thu while Jill Scott will guest star as Lady Eve in the series.

Elsewhere Krypton will ensure that along with Supergirl, that the Superman universe will have a television medium in the run up to the character's 80th anniversary. The series, due to air on SyFy in the Spring sees Cameron Cuffe as Seg El, the grandfather of Superman with Georgina Campbell as Lyta Zod. The series will have versions of Adam Strange and Brainiac/Vril as portrayed by Shaun Sipos and Blake Ritson respectively along with Seg's father Ter-El, Doomsday and Hawkgirl also appearing in the series. The pilot episode is written by David S. Goyer and Ian Goldberg and directed by Colm McCarthy.

Meanwhile Titans have also released their first official image of Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly's Hawk and Dove last month. The costumes seem faithful enough to the comics and with the previous release of Brenton Thwaites as Robin, it's nice that we're getting more on the upcoming series from DC's streaming service. A release date has yet to be confirmed as the series is still currently filming but hopefully it won't be long before cast shots for Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Amy Rohrbach are released.

Black Lightning Trailer:
Krypton Trailer:

Black Lightning will premiere on the CW from January 16th, with UK/Irish viewers getting to see the show on Netflix. Krypton will air on SyFy from March 21st and Titans release has yet to be confirmed.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 TV Overview

It's been something of an upside down year for television in 2017, so here is a not so huge look at the highs and lows of the year in question.

Most Talked About Casting: Jodie Whittaker broke records and provided a lot of discussion when her casting as the 13th Doctor became worldwide news. How this will bode for the series could go either but at least she's generated discussion for Doctor Who again.

Most Welcomed Cancellation: Class. It was the spin off that absolutely no-one wanted, the BBC couldn't be arsed to promote and very few actually tuned in to see and therefore won't be missed.

Most Talked About UK Drama: There was a few but the usual suspects included Broadchurch, Peaky Blinders, Line Of Duty and Doctor Foster. Only one I actually watched but the other three were inescapable on my timeline.

Signs You're Dying On Your Arse: Big Brother UK couldn't get a look in this year during it's civilian series as Love Island became the summer hit while the equally as tired Strictly Come Dancing overshadowed the plain tired X Factor for another year running.

Soap Of The Year: Emmerdale, what with Ashley's dementia storyline and of course, Moira's recent murder of Emma along with the other big hitting storylines of the year.

Soap That Fell Apart This Year: EastEnders, in virtually every way as audiences made their loathing of Sean O'Connor's shockingly inept era more than known online and elsewhere. Fortunately with John Yorke at the helm, the show might be turning around soon.

Irish Show Of The Year: Not a huge selection to choose from if I'm being honest. Red Rock was on for very little of the year, Dancing With The Stars was okay but hardly must see telly. Neither Striking Out nor Acceptable Risk were anything to write home about either. Perhaps that recent Christmas special of Mrs Browns Boys.

Toxic TV Partnership Of The Year: Olicity in Arrow. At this rate, it's not even the writing but the absolutely horrible fan base, who are reaching Johnlock levels of irritation at this rate. But it's also the writing too. Someone rein both Guggenheim and Mericle in already.

Show I Watched, Loved But Didn't Blog About: The fourth and fifth seasons of Wentworth, which really could give the equally great Orange Is The New Black a run for it's money. I can't be the only one hoping that Joan somewhat survived, right?

Worst Cancellation: Not that many really hit me this year but I think losing Sense8, which for me is both Netflix's best and most underrated series was a letdown. Fortunately there is an upcoming special to tie up loose ends though.

Best Cancellation: Girls. Also a strong contender for one of the worst series finales with Lena Dunham not bothering to write something that actually resembled a series finale.

Revivals, Revivals, Revivals: This year saw the returns of Prison Break, Twin Peaks and Will & Grace. All had decent returns but I do wonder if this is a trend that could get out of hand as well.

Strangest Ship Of The Year: Jon and Daenerys from Game Of Thrones have got to win this one, considering what we learned about them in the seventh season finale.

Reunions Of The Year: Join winner here between Arya and Nymeria in Game Of Thrones and Eleven with all the gang in Stranger Things.

Better Than The First: Stranger Things might be Netflix's over talked about show ever, but it managed to create a second season that not only was as good as it's first run, but even better in parts, and yes, that also includes the much divisive The Lost Sister episode.

Disappointment Of The Year: I hate joining in with everyone else but even I can't defend Iron Fist, which turned out to be Marvel's first fail of a series. Thankfully, The Defenders was a lot better, viewing wise.

TV Event Of The Year: There was plenty but I'm going with the Arrow verse's Crisis On Earth X four part saga.

Gone Too Soon Award, Character Wise: Bill Potts. She got one series of Doctor Who and managed to become the best fit for Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor along with Nardole. Don't leave it too long Big Finish to reunite this underrated team.

Kiss Of The Year: It's either going to be Lito/Hernando in nearly every episode of Sense8's second season or it's Citizen Cold/The Ray from Crisis On Earth X. I'll let you guys decide. Also ship of the year as well this one can be counted.

Comedy Show Of The Year: I'm actually going to go with Santa Clarita Diet because a show about a suburban mom as a flesh eating zombie was an unexpected treat. Also Drew Barrymore.

Least Subtle Politically Themed Series Of The Year: Both Supergirl and American Horror Story: Cult are strong contenders for this one.

Amazing Villain Of The Year: Cersei Lannister. Or the Dragon that got possessed by the Night King. Either way, it's something or someone from Game Of Thrones this year.

Shit Villain Of The Year: Savitar from The Flash. Just that one speedster too many. Thank fuck for The Thinker now, yeah?

Ryan Murphy Show Of The Year: I'm going with Feud: Bette And Joan. Don't be surprised if next year, it's The Assassination Of Gianni Versace though.

Non Deaths Of The Year: Nearly every character on Gotham is unable to stay dead for longer than a few episodes. Not complaining but it's becoming a common trend though.

DC Series Of The Year: Legends Of Tomorrow for it's unbridled approach to literally throwing every silly thing and making it work in a sublime way.

Marvel Show Of The Year: The Defenders with The Gifted maybe coming a close-ish second.

Likely To Be Cancelled Next Year: Once Upon A Time as it's current reboot seems to be losing viewers, even though it's picked up a little, quality wise.

Unintentionally Funny (Possible) Death Of The Year: Simon in How To Get Away With Murder, who managed to accidentally shoot himself during a heated confrontation with the Keating 4. If he pulls through, you'd think he'd learn a lesson here.

Meanest Deaths Of The Year: Either Cersei's brutal punishments towards Ellaria and Tyene in Game Of Thrones or Ally's revenge on Ivy in American Horror Story: Cult. Also having two Masters kill each other was a new one for Doctor Who.

Double Act Of The Year: Both the Master and Missy in Doctor Who. John Simm and Michelle Gomez on really superb form.

Binge Watch For Me: Actually Batman 66, following the unfortunate death of Adam West this year. I'll be doing reviews for it next year.

Anticipated New Show For Me In 2018: Right now and because I'm usually Team DC, it's going to be Titans.

LGBT Character Of The Year: Sara Lance from Legends Of Tomorrow.

So those are my highs and lows and in betweens of 2017. What are yours? Also my last blog of the year, so I'll see you guys in 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

My Review of Doctor Who's 10x13: "Twice Upon A Time"

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Rachel Talalay

The Doctor: "Doctor, I let you go!"

And now we've come to the end of the road. For some fans, this might be the last episode of Doctor Who they will watch. For others, it's going to be a bit of a wait until Autumn 2018 but for Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi, this was their exit episode and it was something altogether.

It's hard to imagine that Moffat himself has now ran the show for the same length of time as John Nathan Turner did in the 1980s and like Turner, Moffat himself has been a polarising showrunner. Never boring but certainly guilty of certain excesses and perhaps overstaying his welcome in the role. With this episode alone, we're given some of those excesses one last time and more proof that it's not a bad thing that he's handing over the reins to Chris Chibnall.

Twice Upon A Time's premise is simple enough - two Doctors unwilling to regenerate, time frozen, a soldier destined for death in the trenches of World War 1 and an alien presence disguised as Bill Potts trying to get a measure of the Doctor's character. All told within an hour in a regeneration episode that feels decidedly low key to boot.

The two Doctors bit first. I've made no bones on my Twitter account that the idea of Peter Capaldi sharing his final story with a former Doctor was a bad idea and despite a great performance from David Bradley as the First Doctor, this episode only confirmed that it was indeed a bad idea.

Aside from the fact that it's an inappropriate time to do a multi Doctor story, another reason why it doesn't work is that the First Doctor actually adds very little to the episode. No-one was angling to see his regeneration yet again and Moffat's overexaggeration of the character's supposed "sexism" along with some genuinely vomit inducing dialogue towards Bill was something I really could've done without.

On the other hand, he did play well with the Doctor, Bill and the WW1 captain of the piece but everything that Moffat was trying to convey (mainly how the show has evolved over 54 years) could've been done with a return of Susan or simply just left alone although, which would've been preferable as well.

Then there's the Captain of the piece. I'll be honest - Mark Gatiss is a pretty hit and miss actor and having him in this role smacked of favouritism and while he was far from amazing in the role, he wasn't too terrible either. The reveal of his character being the Brigadier's grandfather felt a little indulgent but overall it worked well enough but even his character didn't add a whole lot to this particular outing. That said, the bit with the Christmas Armistice added some festivity to this particular episode.

Then there's the alien presence. Not a baddie as such but the Glass Lady did spend most of her time disguised as Bill because in the future, Testimony (who seem like a less sinister version of Missy's 3W scheme) can use of the memories of the recently departed and take their form. It means that we didn't get to see Bill properly in the episode but it did mean that the Doctor managed to see both Clara and Nardole one last time as his memories of the former were restored at the last minute.

As for the Doctor himself, this was Peter Capaldi's last episode and despite my fear that having another Doctor in the mix would upstage him, it didn't. The Twelfth Doctor hasn't always been my favourite Doctor and his era could've been handled better but he's given a good final outing with some choice dialogue to issue in a new era.

Then there's the new Doctor. It's been over five months since Jodie Whittaker was announced as the new Doctor and aside from two words and being thrown out of the TARDIS in a scene similar to The Eleventh Hour, there's not much to go on just yet as to how she will be in the role but judging by the online reaction so far, she may win over everyone next year.

- The episode started with a Previously On bit for 709 episodes ago in case you didn't think the First Doctor was being lifted from The Tenth Planet. Ben and Polly's appearances are too brief though.
- More archive images of most of the former Doctors during the Testimony scenes. I wouldn't be surprised if we got something a little similar in Whittaker's first episode as well.
- Rusty from Into The Dalek made a cameo appearance in this one as well. Of all the characters to appear in Twelve's last one, he was a bit unexpected.
- Murray Gold got out some of his most famous bits of music during his time on the series as this episode also served as his departure too.
- The episode will be released on DVD from January 22nd. Truth to be told, it should've been a part of the Series 10 box set.
- Chronology: 1914 Ypres, World War 1 at Christmas as well as the South Pole and the Weapons Factories of Villengard.

Twice Upon A Time marks the end of an era and after eight years, I was somewhat hoping that Steven Moffat would go for something a bit bigger and showier for his final episode. It's a good ending for Peter Capaldi's Doctor but easily could've worked better without another Doctor added into the mix but the cameos are nice and the regeneration is well done and there's a whole new era to now look forward to. Thank you Steven and Peter, you did well.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, December 23, 2017

My Review of Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988)

Written by Richard Curtis & Ben Elton
Directed by Richard Boden

Ebenezer Blackadder: "So, let's get this straight: If I was bad, my descendants would rule the entire universe!"
Spirit of Christmas: "Maybe... Maybe... But would you be happy? Being ruler of the universe is not all it's cracked up to be - there's the long hours... I mean, you wave at people the whole time. You're no longer your own boss."

There have been many adaptations of A Christmas Carol and essentially, it's always the same in each version. The Scrooge of the piece is shown the error of his ways and is scared into changing for the better. Except this version has a somewhat different take on the situation.

For Ebenerzer Scrooge (Rowan Atkinson) is already the most generous man in all of Victorian London, so much so that between his shrieking niece Millicent (Nicola Bryant) and Mrs Scratchit Pauline Melville) and everyone else, he's often taken to be a complete mug during the Christmas period with only Baldrick (Tony Robinson) being the one person who doesn't outsmart him.

Ebenezer is then visited by the Spirit of Christmas (Robbie Coltrane) who gives Blackadder a glimpse into the past of his ancestors Lord Blackadder and Mr. E. Blackadder, Esq, giving the current Blackadder the idea that perhaps being so generous is a fault. However it's when the Spirit decides to show Blackadder a rather galactic future, which includes appearances from Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie that Ebenezer is compelling to change his good ways.

It's a predictable change of events but one that is rather delightful as poor Baldrick suffers the brunt of Blackadder's newly acquired mean streak but even he somewhat fares better compared to a visiting Queen Victoria (Miriam Margolyes) and Prince Albert (Jim Broadbent) as the latter's newfound rudeness seems losing out on a reward for good measure.

- The bit about the dog in the nativity scene has been edited in some versions but I've seen it in recent repeats on television.
- This and Blackadder Back & Forth are the only time we've seen previous roles reprised.
- You could see an influence for Hagrid's look here with the Spirit of Christmas's attire and bit of Blake's 7 for Blackadder's galactic descendant.

Probably one of the funniest and memorable adaptation of a classic tale. Blackaddet's Christmas Carol is also for me the best installment of that particular comedy franchise. It might be a little mean spirited but it's also a festive treat to catch over the next few days as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

My Review of Krampus (2015)

Written by Todd Casey & Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields
Directed by Michael Dougherty

Max (to Omi): "Are we going to be okay? What?"
Aunt Dorothy: "She said we're fucked!"

Anything that combines both the horror and Christmas genres can never be a bad thing and while there are possibly bigger Christmas horror films out there (Black Christmas, anyone?), this modest hit from two years is a worthy contender.

Centering around the Engel family, young lad Max (Emjay Anthony) just wants a normal Christmas like his family used to enjoy but when extended family members show up and things quickly descend into chaos, he ends up losing his faith in the Holiday and as a result, a certain goated fellow and his friends begin to terrorise the family but not before Max's German grandmother Omi (Krista Stadler) recalls her own encounter as a child with Krampus.

The animated flashback gives us the basic details - Krampus punishes those who've been naughty or lost their faith in Christmas and as the movie progresses, each of Max's family members are assaulted by an array of baddies from Krampus. The highlight of this though are the Gingerbread men who are ridiculously cute but utterly sinister, at least until one of them is eaten by the family dog that is.

Of course, Max is the one who brought about Krampus, so after a noble but predicted self sacrifice from his grandmother, it was obviously going to be him that would be the one to end Krampus's reign of terror. I won't spoil what exactly happens but I will say that the final scene of the movie ends the movie on a particular memorable note though.

The family on the other hand are led well enough by Adam Scott and Toni Collette as Max's sympathetic enough parents, Tom and Sarah but the highlights probably are Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) and Howard (David Koechner), who starts the movie as a jerk but steps a little when things begin to get ugly.

As for Krampus, he looks menacing enough and he's actually used quite sparingly in parts, making his actual appearances the more effective when he's seen on screen. It does prove though that less is more as the gory is kept to a minimum and the use of a blizzard adds to the creepy atmosphere that the movie successfully captures.

- The movie was released to coincide with the Krampusnacht, the Austrian festival that celebrates Krampus punishing bad children.
- Three others actresses nearly played Omi before Krista Stadler but all bowed out for different reasons. Pictures of cast and crew members were used for the end credits.
- There's a reference to the director's previous work at the start of this movie. The movie is also dedicated to his mother who passed away during the film's production.
- Standout music: Plenty of Christmas music but Krampus Karol of the Bells by Brea Olinda High School Singers  is the clear highlight though.

Krampus is a delightfully macabre movie to watch. If you fancy a Christmas horror flick this year, this is definitely one to give a watch too. There's a creepy monster, enough rootable characters to care about and a rather tantalising ending to the whole thing. I'm not going to declare it the best Christmas horror movie ever seen but it's definitely worth viewing over the holiday period.

Rating: 7 out of 10