Spoiler-free topline: If you are interested in folklore, you like horror movies, you can tolerate camp, and are looking for a Christmas special to eat some downtime, I would recommend this movie.

The climax and denouement are disappointing, which I found surprising. Typically with horror movies, the writing outstrips the quality of the acting and production. This movie sees the rare inversion of that trend. Toni Collette isn’t given the opportunity to do what she did in Hereditary, but she’s still Toni mothafuckin Collette, you know? Adam Scott is great, the character actors that play the extended family are great, the child actors don’t falter.

Krampus is at its best in the moments where it creates dread: the giant goat hoof, the shadow on a rooftop. In the moments where you see the monster helpers and mask close up, it weakens.

This movie makes me want a somewhat less comedic version that doesn’t lean on the absurdity of it all–a Christmassy Labyrinth, maybe, surrounding the rescue of a purloined child.