Krampus haunts the holidays

Photo courtesy of IMDB.COM


With relatively mixed reviews, “Krampus” provides good fun for those who are craving a darker kind of holiday film.

Directed by Michael Dougherty, “Krampus” is a horror-comedy film that takes place during Christmas time. However, when the dysfunctional family of Max (Emjay Anthony) causes him to lose his holiday spirit, he unleashes the wrath of Krampus. As the demon terrorizes Max’s home, he is forced to unite with his mom, Sarah (Toni Collette), dad, Tom (Adam Scott) and sister, Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen) in order to escape the fate of Krampus.

“Krampus” is based on the German-language Alpine folklore, Krampus. The figure is essentially the polar opposite of Saint Nicholas. Krampus is described having a deranged face with bloodshot eyes and a furry black body with giant horns curling up from his head, displaying a half-goat, half-human appearance.

Krampus comes around during the night, tagging along with Saint Nicholas. His particular specialty is punishing naughty children. The legend states that throughout the Christmas season, misbehaving kids are beaten with birch branches or can disappear, stuffed into Krampus’ sack and hauled off to his lair to be tortured or eaten.

Krampus’ roots have nothing to do with Christmas. Instead, they date back to pre-Germanic paganism. His name originates from the German word krampen, which means “claw.” Tradition states that he is the son of the Norse god of the underworld, Hel. During the 12th century, the Catholic Church attempted to banish Krampus celebrations because of his resemblance to the devil. More eradication attempts followed but none prevailed, and Krampus emerged as a much-feared holiday force.

“Krampus” the film does share some similarities with the folklore in the premise that the monster summoned by Max still has a goal to punish those who have been naughty. However, instead of just punishing children, it attacks the entire family.

“Krampus” was released Dec.4, is rated PG-13 and has a score of 65 % on rotten

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