Americans have been missing out on one of the coolest and creepiest parts of Christmas since we’ve been Christmasing. One part of the tradition, which is still celebrated in parts of Europe is Krampus, the “shadow of Saint Nick”, a hooved, horned devil man who, instead of bringing gifts, comes calling while rattling and dragging chains, carrying a satchel of wooden switches and essentially beats the jolly ol’ s*** out of bad kids before dragging them straight to hell! Sounds fun doesn’t it? In the areas where Krampus is still part of the Christmas celebration, men even dress up as the creature while cavorting about town, rattling their chains and getting really drunk. (Well, THAT part at least sounds like the average American Christmas.)
Now at long last, folks in the US will be getting a taste of a Krampus Christmas, when Universal unleashes ‘Krampus‘ on the big screen.
Co-writer/director Michael Dougherty embraced the creepier side of the hustle-n-bustle holidays, pointing out that Santa himself isn’t as benign as people make him out to be. “That there is some sort of supernatural entity that keeps an eye on you all year long and determines if you’re naughty or nice.” (Guess he’s never seen Elf on the Shelf.) “It’s one thing to be terrified or enthralled when you’re watching a film,” Dougherty says. “To then leave the theater and realize it’s based on real myths and legends only makes it sink in even deeper.”
Keep in mind that Krampus is a Christmas tradition, not some Boogeyman parents use just to scare kids.
“He’s more complex and nuanced than that. He’s not Freddy or Jason or Leatherface, this unstoppable monster that kicks down your door and rampages and grabs you. If you study the myth, there’s something darkly playful about him. He’s having a good time doing what he does and he enjoys the cat-and-mouse aspect of it.
“A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life are kind of nightmares that show you these broken characters who experience a darker side of divine intervention. They need to be scared straight. So it was important to elevate it.
“If you do a horror film without an emotional core, you don’t really have much.”
In the movie version, a boy named Max (Emjay Anthony) becomes disillusioned with what is sadly the reality of most American Christmases. Instead of cheer and good will, his family takes it as an opportunity to over spend, get drunk and most of all fight. Max wishes away Christmas and his family– which includes Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner– must then contend with that wish when they are locked in their house with no power and a blizzard outside.
Very quickly, they realize that the person paying them a visit isn’t a chubby guy in a suit laughing “Ho ho ho” and doling out XBoxes and such.
Here are some images from the movie to give you a sense of what to expect:
And now, here is the official trailer:
Here’s hoping that Hollywood doesn’t ruin things by making this heartwarming and lovey-dovey. There are already a million Christmas movies with that sentiment! I want to see someone getting beaten with a switch by a huge evil devil goat!
Just in time for the holidays, ‘Krampus’ hits theaters on December 4. Are ready for some holiday FEAR?
Source: Movie Pilot