Michael Dougherty’s Krampus has been a cause for celebration this Christmas in the horror community. Bucking the trend of remakes, sequels and uninspired found-footage, it was seasonal, scary and original.
Whether the fan interest in the film prior to it’s release or just increasing interest in the Krampus mythology itself, the hairy Anti-Santa has been popping up in a few movies over the last couple of years. There’s even a few Krampus themed projects in development, if you haven’t quite got your beastly fix for this year.
So here’s a quick guide to the Alpine creature on screen. Merry Krampus!
Aka. The one everyone’s talking about. When a dysfunctional family’s lack of Christmas spirit unleashes the wrath of Krampus along with other monstrofied holiday icons.The family’s only hope for survival is to work together. Directed by Michael Dougherty, who’s surprise hit Trick R Treat became a modern Halloween classic – and we kinda hope this one becomes a Christmas classic in it’s own right.
Krampus: The Reckoning (2015)
Zoe is a strange little girl, with a not so imaginary friend the Krampus who is the dark companion of kindly old St. Nicholas. Once summoned, the monster wreaks havoc on Zoe’s village, seeking all the naughty children who’s helpless souls he can drag back to the depths of hell. It’s a bit of a mixed bag according to reviewers with impressive gore effects but unappealing CGI.
A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
On the back of other popular horror anthologies such as the ABC’s of Death and V/H/S, A Christmas Horor Story creates the ultimate battle of Santa vs Krampus. In the little town of Bailey Downs, we watch several groups of people independently dealing with Krampus on Christmas Eve. And way up north, Santa is locked in a battle to the death with Krampus and his minions. It’s actually been compared to Trick R Treat in it’s structure. Oh, and it also features William Shatner.
Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
This one actually beat the major Krampus release to the screen by a couple of years. Police officer Jeremy is tormented by the memories of his childhood kidnapper. When other children in his town begin to disappear, Jeremy pieces together evidence to suggest that a creature of ancient yuletide lore responsible for punishing evil children may be behind it all.
Didn’t get enough Krampus this Christmas? Here’s a few in-development titles to keep an eye on.
Krampus: The Devil Returns (2016)
Following the *ahem* success of his first yuletide foray, director Jason Hull will return in 2016 with the sequel to 2013’s Krampus: The Christmas Devil with The Devil Returns. Set for release Nov 16 this film promises more of what fans are looking for as Jeremy returns to defeat the almighty Krampus once and for all.
In 2014, funny man Kevin Smith leaked information that he too would be directing a Krampus-inspired anthology film. Though details are sparse- the film is set to star Justin Long and Haley Joel Osment– we really hope Smith fulfils his promise as the concept art looks awesome. Talking about the idea behind the film, Smith said:
“When I was a kid, if they wanted to make a Christmas horror movie, they’d stick an axe in Santa’s hands. In Anti-Claus, we leave Santa alone and creep with the Krampus through twisted tales of holly-jolly murder, desire, desperation and despair”
Happy Krampus (unknown)
With this Christmas Krampus frenzy, it was only a matter of time before a more kid-friendly adaptation was in the works. Walden Media and Jim Henson Productions have teamed up to develop Happy Krampus!, a family-friendly take on the monstrous creature. In the movie, Krampus has been fired because parents no longer need a terrible beast to punish their children. Newly unemployed, Krampus moves to New York to try to convince everyone to celebrate Krampus Day instead of Christmas.
Of course, there’s a wealth of indie Krampus takes in the form of short horror films. Our reviewer RJ Bayley took a look at a few this December, including M is for Merry Christmas, Night of the Krampus and GruB von Krampus.