Turning his attention from Halloween to Christmas, Michael Dougherty follows up beloved anthology film Trick ‘r Treat with Krampus this year, a holiday horror movie that centers on the mythical “anti-Claus” from Alpine folklore. While we wait for a trailer, the first images have arrived today.
The stills come courtesy of USA Today, who spoke with Dougherty about the upcoming Christmas-themed spook show. He mostly talked about the character of Krampus, a monster who hasn’t yet been given all that much love in the world of horror cinema.
“He’s not Freddy or Jason or Leatherface, this unstoppable monster that kicks down your door and rampages and grabs you,” he says. “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,” Dougherty went on to say about the movie. “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.”
Krampus hits theaters on December 4th.
In the film, young Max (Emjay Anthony) has reached the precarious age where he clings to the idea of Santa, even though the rest of the world doesn’t believe in him. The Christmas spirit really takes a hit when the boy sees how his dysfunctional family — including Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner and Allison Tolman — behaves when they come together for yuletide cheer, and Max is pretty much done with the whole thing.
Suddenly a blizzard and blackout hit their surroundings, meaning the horned-and-hooved Krampus and his sinister helpers are coming to town instead of the man with the bag.