In 2015, Michael’s Dougherty’s tale of yuletide terror, Krampus, was released in theaters with a family-friendly PG-13 rating. That was less a way to draw in a broader audience and more of a means of appeasing the MPAA. Scream Factory, working under Dougherty’s supervision, has now restored those excised bits to deliver the definitive “Naughty Cut.” But there’s nothing all that naughty about this edition. The reinserted scenes are barely noticeable, and the shiny new 4k disc packed with special features earns this release a spot on Santa’s nice list.
The difference in runtime between the initial release and the Naughty Cut is minimal, roughly four minutes worth of footage. A few key notable scenes are reinserted from the original Blu-ray release’s deleted scenes, like Max (Emjay Anthony) offering his cousins candy from his Halloween stash, with Sam’s lollipop from Trick ‘r Treat sitting pretty at the top of the candy pile.
The other most noticeable sequence benefitted by the 4K edition is during the toy assault in the attic. The restored version accentuates more of the violence than before, making the action much more fluid and easier to follow. Close-ups of stabbing and a little more prolonged moments of toy gore ensue, just enough to highlight how nitpicky the MPAA can get. There’s nothing all that offensive or egregiously R-rated about these scenes, many of which are hard to even detect without comparing cuts.
Because the changes are so minimal between the theatrical cut and the Naughty Cut, it’s hard to recommend the 4K to those hoping for a drastically different alternate cut. This is still the same Krampus that we know and are familiar with, just with a few more curse words and elongated moments.
What does make the Naughty Cut worth owning and warrants a recommendation is the 4K transfer and new special features. The release is loaded with brand new interviews with Dougherty, Emjay Anthony, Producer Todd Casey, actor David Koechner, actress Allison Tolman, WETA’s Richard Taylor, storyboard artist Simeon Wilkins, Composer Douglas Pipes, and Krampus performer Luke Hawker. It also includes previously released special features, rounding out an insanely loaded disc for massive fans of the movie.
The Naughty Cut is billed as the definitive version of Krampus, primarily because of the restored bits excised to pacify the MPAA. But for casual viewers, the newly added moments are rarely obvious and never push the content far enough to feel deserving of R-rated horror. None of the changes in this cut alter or recontextualize the story in any way; they just add a slight bit of spice to the mix.
Krampus: The Naughty Cut is for the avid Krampus fans and physical media collectors or those looking to upgrade their disc to 4K. It’s a detailed and lovingly crafted release, loaded with so much new content that’ll give you your money’s worth. The picture and sound quality are fantastic, too, making for another win for Scream Factory. Max and his family’s unruly behavior may have summoned Krampus, but there’s nothing naughty about this release.
Krampus: The Naughty Cut is available now.