Krampus is a holiday movie that should scare anyone on Santa’s naughty list into being nice. When you hear those “slay” bells ringing, you know it’s time to run.
At first, the new trailer for Krampus makes the movie look like your typical cheery Christmas flick. There’s a montage of holiday imagery that includes freshly-baked gingerbread men, kids crying on Santa Claus’ lap, Black Friday shoppers running over store employees, and stockings hung by the chimney with care. However, you can tell that Krampus isn’t going to be a feel-good film when a couple played by Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) and Toni Collette (United States of Tara) start bickering with their family members over their holiday dinner.
Things take a dark turn when the electricity goes out during a freak snowstorm, and everyone really loses their holiday cheer once they realize that their only palatable sustenance is beer. They soon hear prancing and pawing on the roof, but the noise definitely isn’t coming from Prancer and Vixen’s little hooves.
“St. Nicholas is not coming this year,” a very grim granny informs her dysfunctional family.
Instead, the family is getting a visit from Santa’s cloven-footed shadow, the Krampus. He’s a horned beast who has his own little companions that help him out, but they aren’t the adorable toy-making elves that stock Santa’s workshop shelves. Based on the movie’s trailer, the Krampus’ helpers are terrifying living toys, including a teddy bear with sharp teeth and claws and a creepy jack-in-the-box clown with a mouth like Predator.
According to the Los Angeles Times, some cultures still include Santa’s sinister helper in their Christmas stories.
“With Germanic roots, the Krampus legend goes back generations and is even celebrated to this day with parades and Krampus runs in Bavaria.”
If you can’t bribe kids into being good with the promise of more gifts, perhaps you can terrify them into behaving. And the Krampus doesn’t just leave coal in kids’ stockings — he carries a whip or chain around with him so that he can beat the crap out of them. Just like Santa, he has a sack that he slings over his back, but it’s not full of toys — instead of pulling gifts out of it, he stuffs it full of naughty little girls and boys.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Krampus star Adam Scott described the movie as a comedy-horror flick inspired by ’80s movies like Gremlins and The Goonies.
“It’s the kind of movie that is very scary – but up until it gets scary it’s as if you’re watching a Vacation movie or Parenthood. It’s a kind of movie we haven’t seen in quite some time.”
Krampus hits theaters on December 4.
[Image credit: Universal]