Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, Michael Dougherty’s Krampus is a cautionary tale which tries to leave a mark. This writer/director wants audiences to leave with an understanding of what the holiday is about and most viewers will get it. In what may not get recognized by everyone is this film’s historical and cultural identity.
This movie started playing at theatres the night before December 6th to coincide with the established Germanic folklore of when this supernatural beast appears to reward or torment children. On the morning of the next day, kids go to look at the shoe or boot they left outdoors contains a present (to reward good behaviour) or a rod (for bad). In this old country — which includes Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic — celebrations take place to remind people of all ages to play nice year-round. Variations of this legend includes this entity leaving the good alone whilst Saint Nicholas would place sweets in the footwear.