Archive for santa

Review of Krampus (2015)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2015 by Xander Woolf

Dir. by: Michael DoughertyKrampus-The-Christmas-Devil-movie-poster-2
Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Emjay Anthony

I know, I know! I’m two weeks late on this, but I finally saw Krampus! Here’s what I thought:

What’s it about?
Krampus is about a family who doesn’t get along very well at Christmas. Max (Anthony), the young son of Tom and Sarah Engel (Scott and Collette), is picked on by his older cousins for still believing in Santa. This causes him to lose his Christmas spirit and accidentally summon Krampus, the evil shadow of St. Nicholas. The family must fight against Krampus and his minions for any hope to survive.

What did I think?
This movie is pretty stunning. It has a heavy Tim Burton/Nightmare Before Christmas feel. It’s definitely a horror movie that the whole family can enjoy.

Going into the theater, I was a little apprehensive about the fact that the majority of the cast is made up of comedic actors. I’ve said bad things about that type of decision before, such as in Would You Rather, but I actually appreciated it in this film. Adam Scott and David Koechner are two of my favorite comedy actors and I was very happy that they were able to bring their expertise into their rolls. Instead of trying to be serious and emotional, the film incorporated their comedy backgrounds, which added an extra layer to the film that I really enjoyed. Conchata Ferrell, though, was the ultimate comic relief. Her performance as the hated Aunt Dorothy was just amazing.

On the horror side of things, Krampus isn’t really that scary. Sure, there are jump scares and the movie does deal with a demon who drags families down to the underworld for losing their Christmas spirit, but it was definitely made with children in mind (just as the original Krampus story was). There isn’t too much cursing, there’s no graphic gore or violence and the main minions are animated gingerbread men, which I found to be a little too cheesy.

Despite the fact that Krampus isn’t going to keep me up at night, I still enjoyed it for what it was. It was funny, it made me jump a couple of times and the acting was just amazing. For the most part, it was believable, but, if you ask me, their actions were a little too logical and level headed for the situation they were in. It was entertaining, to say the least.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, I would. I wouldn’t say pay $15 to see it in theaters, but definitely see it. It’s not scary and you have to suspend your disbelief in some parts, but it has a lot of good features that deserve to be seen.

Did you see it? Let us know what you think in the comments!



The Legend of Knecht Ruprecht

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2015 by Xander Woolf

As I was researching Krampus last week, I found that the terrifying goat-like creature wasn’t St. Nick’s only mischievous companion. While the Krampus is the most widely known companion, Knecht Ruprecht is another figure highly feared by children in Germany.

What’s the story?knecht ruprecht
There are two beginnings to Knecht Ruprecht’s story. The first story says that he was a wild child (possibly a changeling) that St. Nicholas found and raised into adulthood. Another story claims that the figure was a farmhand before becoming Santa’s assistant.

Knecht Ruprecht is most commonly spotted carrying a staff and a bag of ashes and wearing a brown or black robe with a pointed hood. Sometimes he is depicted riding a white horse or while other times being accompanied by faeries.

The Brothers’ Grimm associated him with Robin Goodfellow from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. While not evil, per se, he is mischievous like the famous faerie. Ruprecht was also associated with the Devil.

In older stories, Knecht Ruprecht would ask children if they could pray. If they could, he gave them treats. If they could not, he beat them with his bag of ashes. More modern stories, however, depict him as the one who gives naughty children coal or sticks while Santa gives out all the presents.

How’s it used today?
Knecht Ruprecht is not seen much today, as far as I can tell. In the Alpine Region, the Krampus is the one most celebrated. In Germany, while he does not get a festival or big event, many still dress up like Knecht Ruprecht and accompany those dressed as St. Nicholas. Also, in the German version of The Simpsons, the dog, Santa’s Little Helper, is called Knecht Ruprecht.

Knecht Ruprecht is a little overlooked in the holiday season, if you ask me. I want to see more of him. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a horror movie based on an evil faerie who attacks naughty people and non-believers? That’s just good entertainment right there.

Let us know that you think in the comments!


The Legend of the Krampus

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , on December 6, 2015 by Xander Woolf

We’ve all seen the advertisements for the movie Krampus, which came out just this past Friday. For those curious about the origins of the title creature, you’re in luck because today’s Urban Legend post is about Santa’s evil sidekick himself.


A 1900s greeting card reading ‘Greetings from the Krampus!’

What’s the story?
While there is speculation that Krampus dates back to ancient Norse Mythology as the grandson of Loki, the best known origin for the creature resides in the Alpine region of Europe. Germanic folklore describes Krampus as a horned, demon-like creature who punishes the children on St. Nicholas’ “Naughty” list.

Even though the popular Santa mythos today states that “Nice” kids get presents and “Naughty” kids get a lump of coal, this was not always the case. In the original story, the “Naughty” kids would be visited by Krampus on the night of December 4 to receive punishment. Some stories claim that this punishment consisted of lashings with a birch stick while others claim that Krampus dragged the misbehaving children down to hell for a year.

Krampus, who’s name is derived from the German word krampen (meaning “claw”), serves as a contrast to St. Nicholas. He is often paired with the popular Christmas figure in order to create a balance of good and evil. This dichotomy has been used since the 1600s to scare children into behaving. It’s definitely more effective than the idea of a lump of coal, if you ask me.

How’s it used today?


Krampus parade in Pörtschach am Wörthersee (2013)

While Krampus is nearly unheard of in the United States, many cities and towns in the Alpine region of Europe still recognize the mythical figure as a loved and feared symbol. Krampus festivals typically kick off the holiday season. They can range from parades of young men wearing Krampus costumes, shaking birch sticks and chains, to large gatherings called Krampuslauf, where revelers get together, drink and chase people through the streets dressed as the terrifying creature.

Even today, on Krampusnacht (December 4) each year, it is typical for St. Nicholas and Krampus (or, rather, men dressed up like them) to go around to homes and businesses to hand out presents or coal, respectively.

Did you grow up believing in Krampus? If so, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Is there an Urban Legend you’d like to read about? A ghost story you’re dying for others to read? Now is your chance to let us know what you want us to write about! Leave a comment below and tell us what you would like us to cover!