Krampus: The Reckoning and Deep Dark - Reviews


Review - Rusty Ryan

SynopsisZoe, a strange child has a not so imaginary friend the Krampus who is the dark companion of St. Nicholas.

ReviewThis upcoming holiday just might be the season of Krampus. You are familiar with Krampus, right?  If not, here goes: Krampus is the bad demonic version of Santa. Santa rewards the nice people with presents and gives the bad ones coal. Krampus pretty much ignores the good ones and goes straight to killing the bad ones.

There have actually been a few Krampus-themed features over the years including Krampus - The Christmas Devil, Night of the Krampus and Santa Krampus. Soon theaters will be showing a big budget Hollywood horror/comedy called Krampus. And finally, Krampus just might get his due. However, this is not that movie!

Released this year, Krampus: The Reckoning is a horror movie that seems to wear it’s low, low budget like a badge of honor. It is directed and co-written by Robert Conway. It revolves around a detached little girl named Zoe who can magically conjure up her friend the Krampus to torture and burn anyone that she doesn’t like. 

The rest of the story is told with unflinching miscues in lighting, continuity, dialogue, focus and acting. It does hold your attention in a “train-wreck” sort of way. The moments when Krampus extracts his revenge are very uneven. Krampus shows up, the next moment the victim is covered in blood, then goes up in flame. During this, the obviously computer animated monster that stares and growls. The editing will have you scratching your head. Think Sci-Fi Network, then turn it down a few notches.

The lead actress playing Zoe’s Doctor is Monica Engesser. She is easily the most accomplished performer in the film. Unfortunately she is surrounded by very uneven production values, boring dialogue, and a “surprise” ending that is just not fleshed out.

Krampus: The Reckoning contains some harsh language, two graphic sex scenes and some bloody murders that are more silly than scary. If you really want to get into the Krampus Holiday Season, I recommend holding out for the December 4th theatrical release of the big budget Krampus starring Toni Collette. 



Review - Rusty Ryan

SynopsisA failed sculptor discovers a strange, talking hole in the wall. It has the power to fulfill his wildest dreams...and become his worst nightmare.

Review“Deep Dark” is an initially interesting horror story about a failed sculptor that discovers a hole in his apartment wall. This is no ordinary hole. It talks, has feelings and has the power to fulfill his dreams of being a successful artist. But this is a horror film, so you already know this can never work out well for our hero.

The film is directed and co-written by Michael Madadlia. It is obviously shot on a limited budget but Madadlia does manage to squeeze out every dollar. Unfortunately it seems the dollars ran out before his movie did.

The story walks a fine line of being original but at he same time clearly brings up memories of 2013’s “Her” starring Joaquin Phoenix. “Deep Dark” does have a very demented slant: Just like Phoenix’s character in “Her”, Hermann (Sean McGrath) develops an emotional relationship with the talking hole (voiced by Denise Poirier). Quickly into the “relationship” the hole becomes very jealous and wants more from the sculptor. The hole reacts to our hero’s touch and soon demands that their relationship be consummated. Use your imagination for that one! Their relationship quickly spirals into a violent and dangerous place.

As previously stated, “Deep Dark” starts as a great premise but just does not complete any plot strand. Major holes develop and other story lines are left hanging. One example: midway into the film, the nosey landlord enters the apartment, peeks into the hole and gets her eye bitten by the hole. She runs out screaming and wounded. We never see her again. Did she just go home, put on some Bactine and forget the fact that her tenant has something in his apartment that just took out her eye? Seriously, we never see her again.

The ending is the same way. It just seems unfinished and confusing. “Deep Dark” started with promise but quickly goes downhill. Expect some gore and the aforementioned “sex” scene. Some of the more interesting characters are left dangling. Definitely one for those who have “seen it all”, otherwise I would recommend renting another apartment.

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