The upcoming Krampus appears to be a throwback in spirit to not only the dark comedy/satire of beloved 1980s title Gremlins, but also straight-up horror movies centered around the winter holidays, such as 1970s cult classic Black Christmas. That is the impression given off by the global/international trailer for Krampus, which Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures released online yesterday (at the time of writing this).
Universal and Legendary have now unveiled the English-dubbed, MPAA-approved, green band U.S. trailer for Krampus, which features the same footage as its non-English counterparts (watch it, above). The film was directed by Michael Dougherty, who previously helmed the niche/indie horror cult hit Trick 'r Treat and wrote the straight-to-video 2005 horror sequel Urban Legends: Bloody Mary; here, though, Dougherty appears to be taking a slightly more accessible approach, similar to his screenplay work on Bryan Singer's comic book adaptations X2: X-Men United and Superman Returns.
Here is the official synopsis for Krampus, which Dougherty co-wrote with animated superhero TV show writer Todd Casey (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and Zach Shields (who did soundtrack work on The Conjuring):
Legendary Pictures’ Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. The horror-comedy tells the story of young Max (Emjay Anthony), who turns his back on Christmas as his dysfunctional family comes together and comically clashes over the holidays. When they accidentally unleash the wrath of Krampus—an ancient entity from European folklore—all hell breaks loose and beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own. Now, the fractured family is forced to unite if they hope to survive.
Rounding out the Krampus cast are such names as Toni Collette (The Way Way Back), Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), Allison Tolman (Fargo season 1), David Koechner (Anchorman 1 & 2), Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men), and Stefanie Owen (The Carrie Diaries), in addition to Emjay Anthony (who previously appeared in films like Chef and Insurgent).
The combination of practical effects and modern digital techniques - provided by Weta Workshop and Weta Digital (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), respectively - in the Krampus trailer footage only adds to the fun throwback vibe of the proceedings, as combined with the wry humor from scenes of Max's family being (not so) blissful gathered together for the Christmas holiday - before Krampus makes his way to town. Films that acknowledge the less pleasant side of the winter holiday season resonate with moviegoers for a good reason, and Dougherty has said his movie isn't just unpleasantness for its own sake, either - having referred to Krampus as being a story about people "who experience a darker side of divine intervention."
Dougherty and Legendary are reportedly developing a Trick 'r Treat sequel together, so it would seem the pair have enjoyed collaborating thus far. Fingers crossed, Krampus will start that director/studio relationship off on a strong note, setting the stage for them to produce more quality genre films in the future - resembling what Legendary is now doing with Guillermo del Toro, who has the Gothic horror romance Crimson Peak arriving this October and the sci-fi/action sequel Pacific Rim 2 slated for release in 2017.
Krampus opens in U.S. theaters on December 4th, 2015.
Source: Universal Pictures/Legendary Pictures