Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman — all beloved holiday icons who are forever associated with Christmas. However, the holiday season isn’t all about peace, love, and a thousand gifts; it’s about making children face judgement at the hands of an ominous, omniscient, bearded arbiter who decides whether they are rewarded or punished for their behavior over the past year based on a seemingly arbitrary code of moral conduct. Considering that Santa Claus is slowly killing the planet by giving coal to naughty kids, one can’t help but look for a greener Christmastime alternative. Fortunately, Alpine folklore delivered us an ecologically ergonomic alternative in the form of Krampus.
But what is Krampus? Well, for starters, it is the name of a forthcoming horror-comedy film from Trick ‘R Treat director Michael Dougherty, starring the likes of Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, and Allison Tolman. But, traditionally, Krampus is the name of a bipedal hellbeast with a goatlike head that punishes wicked children on Krampusnacht (“Krampus Night”) by chasing them through the town, whipping them with switches, and cramming them into a sack before dragging them off to the underworld. So, yeah, not exactly the kind of creature you’d expect to see in a Rankin-Bass holiday special.
Krampus hits theaters on December 4. Ho Ho Ho!