Trick ’r Treat director Michael Dougherty is back with another fun holiday horror outing, this time delivering a yuletide tale of terror with Krampus. It’s been eight years since Dougherty’s last movie, and Christmas-themed horror flicks don’t come around too often, both of which make Krampus a pretty exciting prospect. But what is this “Krampus,” exactly? A new featurette is here to help you get better acquainted with the fabled demon before he arrives to wreak bloody havoc this holiday season.

Universal and Legendary have released this handy featurette, which briefly explains the legend of Krampus, a demon rooted in pagan folklore that serves as a sort of anti-Santa Claus, seeking out misbehaving children and lashing at them with sticks. Fun! If you’ve been a good boy or girl this year, you can expect Santa to bring you gifts, but if you’ve been naughty…well, let’s hope you’ve been good.

We’ve seen hints of the big scary creature in Dougherty’s Krampus film, and it looks rather impressive — that’s because he was created with the help of Peter Jackson favorites Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the skilled creatives who worked on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Krampus looks like a Christmas version of Critters, equal parts horrific and campy with a great cast that includes Adam Scott, Toni Collette and Fargo’s Allison Tolman. Here’s the official synopsis:

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 also stars David Koechner and Conchata Ferrell, and hits theaters on December 4.