Movie and plot overview
When his dysfunctional family quarrels over the holidays, young Max is disappointed and turns his back on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, this lack of partisanship feeds Kramp’s anger: the diabolical power of the old evil intent to punish unbelievers. Hell breaks loose when beloved holiday icons enter a monstrous life, lay siege to the home of a broken family and force them to fight for each other if they want to survive.
Below is a brief description of the spoilers.
The Engel family prepares for the arrival of an unwanted family three days before Christmas. Worker Tom (Adam Scott) and his wife, perfectionist Sarah (Tony Collette) fear the arrival of his sister Sarah, Linda (Allison Tolman) and her family. Tom and Sarah’s two children, Beth (Stephanie Lavie Owen) and Max (M.J. Anthony), are also worried that their loved ones won’t come because of the flap she puts on the angel party.
Max still has a lot of faith in Santa Claus and plans to send him a letter to express his Christmas wishes. Teenager Beth is more interested in her telephone and social life than in communicating with her family. Tom’s mother, Omi (Christa Stadler), who mainly speaks German and spends most of her time cooking, also lives in the house. Linda comes with her husband Howard (David Kochner) and their four children: Howie Jr. (Maverick Flack), Stevie (Lolo Owen), Jordan (Queenie Samuel) and Chrissy’s Baby (Sage Hunfeld). Unfortunately, Linda also quotes her aunt Sarah Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell), who is not appreciated by anyone.
Despite the tensions in the house, Max wants to continue the family tradition, which grandma likes. However, when extended family members arrive, the whole Christmas spirit is sucked out of the house. Stevie and Jordan saw Max Santa’s letter in his pocket and stole it. During dinner, two girls read Max’s letter, which upset almost everyone, especially Max. Tom tries to comfort his son by telling him that he will continue to love his family despite the chaos, and then he returns the letter. Still angry at Stevie and Jordan for laughing at him, Max tears up his letter to Santa Claus and throws him out the window in the snow. The remnants of the letter are caught by the wind and carried to heaven.
That night the city was hit by a heavy blizzard that caused a power failure in the Angel region. The house was left without electricity and heating. The lack of facilities and cold temperatures further exacerbate tensions in the household. Beth goes to visit her boyfriend in the storm. She faces a large horned creature chasing her through the storm. She’s trying to hide under a truck whose driver was killed by something invisible. The horned monster leaves a small jack in a box next to the truck, and when the toy opens, it catches Beth.
After a while, Tom and Sarah start to worry that Beth is late. Tom and Howard go in Howard’s car looking for a missing teenager. They find their friend’s house frozen in the ruins, with a cracked chimney and large hoof prints resembling a goat. They hear what they think is Beth’s scream and they come out in a storm. As soon as they come out, they are attacked by an invisible monster in the snow. Howard is bitten, but Tom hunts down an invisible creature and shoots Howard with his gun in the snow. Howard’s truck is destroyed by something invisible, and the two men limp into Angel’s house and start going through windows and doors.
In grandma’s house, he always keeps the fire in the fireplace warm, as if trying to hide something. Tom and Howard take turns looking at the rest of the family sleeping together in the living room. At night Howard falls asleep and a mysterious necklace with a long hook goes through the chimney to find itself in the ashes of a once very intense fire. In the necklace is a gingerbread man who is always hungry and is bitten by the hungry Howie Junior. The gingerbread man is still alive and ties Howie Junior up with a chain. When something tries to get the boy out of the chimney, the rest of the waking family tries to get him back, but without success.
As soon as the fire lights up again, Grandma explains that the creature she’s chasing is called Kramp, an old devil who punishes people who have lost their Christmas spirit. Grandma tells the story of her childhood, when her parents and community lost the Christmas spirit due to the hardships of World War II. Grandma, the last survivor, eventually lost her Christmas spirit and Kramp was summoned. The demon dragged everyone in his village to hell and left only himself to tell the story. Kramp also left a bell with his name on it.
The family is skeptical about Grandma’s terrible story, but when devilish toys appear all over the house, they start to believe her. Stevie and Jordan lure to the attic what they think is Beth’s voice. Jordan swallowed The Clown (Brett Beatty), who had already grown enormously by then. In the kitchen, with a little help from his dog, Howard fights a trio of gingerbread men with a nail gun. Tom, Sarah and Linda fight in a toy trio in the attic and manage to save Stevie from the man in the box.
They all go back to the living room, by the fireplace, to make their final fight. Evil elves break the windows and take Dorothy, Howard and Chrissy with them. Tom decides that the family has to walk in an abandoned snowplow that was left on the road after Krump’s driver was killed. If everyone goes out in the storm, Grandma stays behind to distract the Krumps. The great demon comes out of the chimney and attacks Grandma with his bag full of evil toys.
Outside, Tom, Sarah, Linda, Max and Stevie fight the storm to reach the snowplough. The creatures return under the snow and Tom stays with Howard’s gun to repel them, knowing that he is sacrificing himself. Sarah and Linda drag mysterious creatures under the snow, and Stevie and Max do it in the snowplow. But Max can’t start. The elves come back and kidnap Stevie, but Max fights the only remaining elf trying to kidnap him. Krump comes and gives Max a bell wrapped in a piece of his letter to Santa Claus.
Max follows the demon and sees Stevie being thrown by the elves into the pit that leads to hell. Max apologizes in tears for the loss of his Christmas spirit in the presence of Kramp and tells the demon that he just wants everything to be the way it used to be. It seems that Kramp accepts the boy’s apology and wipes a tear off his cheek. But Crump grabs Max and throws him in a hole in hell.
Suddenly Max wakes up in his house on Christmas morning. His whole family lives and celebrates Christmas downstairs. Nobody seems to remember the night before, and Max takes it as a nightmare. He begins to unfold the gifts and receives as a gift the one that contains the bell of the Krump. The whole family looks at the bell, while all the faces show the realization that the nightmare was real. The camera goes out to show the family and their house is captured in a snow globe in Krump’s workshop. The workshop is littered with dozens of snow globes and filled with malicious Krumps toys.
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