krampus featurette

It’s been over eight long years since Mike Dougherty has directed a feature film. The screenwriter, who worked on Superman Returns and X-Men 2, made a wonderful debut picture with Trick ‘r Treat. Now Dougherty’s newest film, Krampus, shares quite a bit in common with his darkly funny Halloween horror movie.

After the jump, watch a Krampus featurette.

This behind-the-scenes look at the film basically spells out what we already saw in the trailer for the film: if you’ve been bad this year, Krampus, the evil holiday spirit, is coming for you, and that’s what happens to the dysfunctional family in Dougherty’s film. Their Christmas, thanks to Krampus, gets a whole lot worse.

Here’s the featurette:

This featurette is a bit of a missed opportunity. As mentioned, it tells us what we already know about the film, when it could have highlighted a huge draw of the film: the practical monsters. There is such a beautiful, frightening handmade quality to the creatures in Dougherty’s horror-comedy, which we don’t see often enough nowadays. If Krampus and his evil helpers — a freakish and hungry jack-in-the-box, the angel doll from hell, a hungry teddy bear, and more — were just CG, it probably wouldn’t have the same effect. Because these holiday monsters feel real, so does the fear we see in the characters.

I can’t speak too much on the quality of Krampus, as there’s an embargo, but I think it’s all right to talk about how wonderful the creature designs and puppetry work are. Fans of old school horror movies are going to find Mike Dougherty’s approach, in that regard, invigorating to see on the big screen. Fingers crossed we won’t have to wait another eight years to see him direct another film.

Here’s the official synopsis for Krampus:

Legendary Pictures’ Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

Krampus opens in theaters December 4th.

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