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The 8 Different ‘Krampus’ Horror Films You Can Watch This Holiday Season

The 8 Different ‘Krampus’ Horror Films You Can Watch This Holiday Season

The only thing better than one Krampus film is… eight of them?!

When Michael Dougherty’s Krampus was released during the 2015 holiday season, the titular character – a mythical Christmas demon from Alpine folklore – didn’t really have much of a presence in the world of pop culture. As a sort of anti-Santa, Krampus’ popularity had been growing in the years prior (Friday the 13th remake star Derek Mears portrayed Krampus on an episode of “Grimm” in 2013, titled “12 Days of Krampus,” which was the character’s first major movie/TV appearance), but it was Dougherty’s film that turned him into what he was always destined to be: a horror icon.

Dougherty was smart to make Krampus when he did, because he knew it was only a matter of time before someone else came along and beat him to the punch. And indeed a handful of Krampus-themed horror movies came in the immediate wake of the 2015 film, firmly establishing Krampus as *the* holiday horror villain of our time.

The Krampus trend in movies, however, does date back further than Dougherty’s film. Notably, Finnish gem Rare Exports, released in 2010, re-imagined the original Santa Claus as a massive, horned beast not unlike Krampus. The monster is never referred to as Krampus, but the film was no doubt inspired by the Krampus mythology.

So let’s begin there, shall we?


RARE EXPORTS (2010)

“In this darkly comic gem, it’s Christmas Eve in northern Finland, and an archaeological dig has just unearthed Santa Claus. But this Santa isn’t one you want coming to town. When local children begin disappearing, Pietari and his father capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the corporation sponsoring the dig.”


KRAMPUS: THE CHRISTMAS DEVIL (2013)

“Jeremy, a local police officer leads a life of a confusing past, spending his current time searching for his kidnapper as a child. After other children begin missing, Jeremy pieces together the truth and realizes that his childhood kidnapper could be a creature of ancient yuletide lore, Krampus, who is the brother of St. Nick, and punisher of children who perform acts of unspeakable evil without repercussion. Can Jeremy kill Krampus and prevent more missing children?”


KRAMPUS (2015)

“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 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: THE RECKONING (2015)

“Zoe, a strange child, has a not so imaginary friend Krampus, who is the dark companion of St. Nicholas.”


A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY (2015)

“It’s the season of joy, peace, and goodwill… unless you live in Bailey Downs. Last Christmas Eve, two teens came to a grisly end in a school basement. Now, one year later, a new set of horrors has come to town. As three friends explore the site of the massacre, a malevolent spirit is determined to keep them there forever. One of the first cops to the scene of the bloody murders has new complications as his seven-year-old son exhibits terrifying and violent behavior. And when a local family seeks reconciliation with an estranged aunt for the wrong reasons, they suddenly find themselves running in terror from Krampus, the demonic anti-Santa Claus. Not even St. Nick is immune to the terror as he fights back against a horde of zombie elves. This is destined to be a holiday no one will ever forget….”


KRAMPUS UNLEASHED (2016)

“In pursuit of buried treasure, a group of fortune hunters unearth an ancient demonic summoning stone that holds a terrible curse and awakens a timeless evil, the Krampus. After centuries of slumber, Krampus has awoken with a thirst for blood.”


KRAMPUS 2: THE DEVIL RETURNS (2016)

“Five years after the murder of his wife and disappearance of his daughter, former police officer Jeremy Duffin is brought back to help in the hunt for a yuletide monster that punishes children that have been “naughty.” As the monster becomes more erratic and unpredictable, Jeremy learns the truth about the disappearance of his daughter and the fate that has been bestowed upon him by an unlikely source. Can Jeremy finally end the nightmare Christmas monster that has terrorized this town for years?”


MOTHER KRAMPUS (2017)

“Based on the myth of Frau Perchta, a witch that comes on the 12 days of Christmas taking children each night.”



AROUND THE WEB


COMMENTS

43 Comments
  • Kyle Cole

    I really enjoyed Krampus and a Christmas horror story. I love christmas horror films, but The others on this list were pretty plain. I actually watched mother krampus the other night, it had a different title called the deaths of Christmas and it was pretty bad.

    • david

      I agree with you Kyle. I thought that A Christmas Horror Story was pretty good. I can’t say the same about Krampus though.

      • HeWaTcHeSnOeYeS

        One’s well made with a load of effort and love poured into, and it’s blatantly obvious how much the studio cared about it.
        The other has literally no effort or reason to exist other than to bank off the huge success of the other film.

  • Saturn

    What about Sint (aka Saint)?
    That was a pretty good one – but I’d advise watching the subtitled version rather than the horrid English dub.

    • Baron Von Marlon

      I think that would count more as an evil Santa type flick. I do really like that movie though.

      • Saturn

        Well I guess Sint isn’t officially a Krampus movie, but it’s close enough for me – and it’s still much better than all the others (Krampus aside) with Krampus in the title!

  • Jack Derwent

    Aside from ‘Krampus’ and ‘Rare Exports’ (the latter of which isn’t really about Krampus although I guess you could make the argument) most of these look like crap.

    • Saturn

      Most of the Krampus movies are dire to say the least.
      The only ones worth watching (I haven’t seen Mother Krampus yet so cannot comment on that one) are Krampus, Rare Exports (arguably the best of the bunch) and Sint.

    • david

      I thought Krampus was average at best. That movie definitely would’ve been much better had it been rated R. I actually enjoyed A Christmas Horror Story, but that’s also because I love anthology horror films.

  • Will Coors

    Mother krampus is so bad lol

    • Saturn

      I have that one to watch with a buddy in a couple of days or so.
      We’re trying to watch 2-3 horror themed movies at a session.
      Yesterday we watched Red Christmas (meh) & Better Watch Out (so-so).

      • Will Coors

        Red Christmas was okay, the middle was a little choppy. Better watch out is up next for me. I recommend the “silent night” 2012 remake and “a Christmas horror story”. Black Christmas both the original and remake I watch every year haha gotta get in the spirit

        • Saturn

          Silent Night I enjoy (I’m a massive fan of the original 2 movies – the others not-so-much) whereas A Christmas Horror Story I was disappointed with. Still, I may give it another spin this year to see if I enjoy it this time around – Yule never snow, I may.

          I just bought the original Black Christmas on bluray today, so I can watch yet again this Christmas Eve – something I have done for around about 25 years now, having first seen it in the mid 1980’s, I love that movie. The remake, Black Xmas, I hated – although it does have a bunch of attractive ladies in it, it wasn’t enough to improve the Homer Simpson slasher-fest.
          Still, the remake does have it’s fan, so it’s cool.
          I’ve watched it around about 5 times now, to see if this time it’ll do it for me – sadly it never does.

          In regards to Red Christmas & Better Watch Out, I went in blind with both of them, not knowing anything about them aside that they were Xmas horror movies – Red Christmas had it’s moments but I don’t think I shall rewatch it, whereas Better Watch Out was the better of the 2 movies, but I can understand why so many people weren’t keen on it back when it was released around the same time as The Babysitter. Again, I don’t think I will rewatch it any time soon, but I still enjoyed it more than Red Christmas.

          • david

            I saw Better Watch Out at a horror film festival in August and I hated it. I also hated The Babysitter. I don’t know if I’d be able to pick one that I liked better.

          • Saturn

            Oh, The Babysitter is much the better movie, by quite a long stretch.

  • Necro

    Have a few more on this list to see yet.

  • Baron Von Marlon

    Not sure why you’d choose that image for the Rare Exports summary. It’s the big reveal in the movie. Kinda spoils it for those who haven’t seen it.

    • Saturn

      So it seems you’re new here…….

      😉

      BD have a habit of spoiling movies and tv shows, some just a day old.

      • Baron Von Marlon

        Nah, I just keep trying hoping they’ll learn one day.

  • marshally

    Rare Exports is a holiday gem…subtitles are easy to follow

  • Nefferson Taveira

    Half of this list is shit

    • jdav

      Though, this was not a list of must watch. Just a list of the different Krampus films available. But I do agree with you.

  • michael35

    I couldn’t stand Rare Exports it seemed interesting at times but the child actor was so cocky and obnoxious it destroyed my enjoyment of the film.

    • Saturn

      Rare Exports aka Old Men’s Penis’.
      That is what you meant by cocky, no?

  • macguffin54

    Don’t forget the American Dad episode. The songs get on my nerves but otherwise another solid entry in their unmatched run of high quality Xmas-themed eps.

    • Rick-Taylor

      Or the Venture Bros episode.

  • HeWaTcHeSnOeYeS

    Michael Dougherty’s is the only one worth watching, don’t be fooled.

    • Saturn

      Indeed – it makes a cracking double bill with Gremlins.

    • Rick-Taylor

      Thanks. A few of the others look like they could be really good, but not sure. Christmas Horror Story was just that, horror-ble.

    • Love that movie, don’t discount the awesome that is Rare Exports though!

  • Jack Thompson

    I saw Krampus: The Christmas Devil, and the sequel, and they made me want to die.

  • Dennis Giles

    No thanks.
    I have 5 rusty nails and some testicles I need to hammer into my freezer door !

  • Elizabeth

    I watch Rare Exports every year and I really liked A Christmas Horror Story. I thought Krampus was a missed opportunity (great actors but all over the place, tonally). But the rest of those are *awful* (I haven’t seen Krampus 2 or Mother Krampus but, do I really need to?)

    • david

      Exactly. Krampus should’ve been so much better. It wasn’t terrible, but if it would’ve been done right it would have been amazing.

    • MrX13

      Rare Exports ended up being really good. It’s on Amazon Prime now so I plan on watching it again!

  • Will Ft. The Roots

    A Christmas Horror Story was a lot better than I thought it would be. I really enjoyed it. I liked Krampus (2015) but thought it let down after the beginning.

    • Mike tantatelli

      I agree. It surprised me. I thought it was good.

    • I had only heard good things about A Christmas Horror story, I watched it and was really let down. It was not unwatchable, just really lame.
      Loved Krampus and Rare Exports though!

      • Marla

        I’ve always enjoyed the Krampus movies

    • MrX13

      Christmas Horror Story and Krampus (2015) are really good. I did like that Santa v Krampus fight! CHS had really good stories to tell and everything fit right in

      • david

        I enjoyed a Christmas Horror Story a hell of a lot more than Krampus, but I still think that it could’ve been a lot better. I liked the fact that they didn’t have too many stories though. I think an anthology horror film like Tales of Halloween would’ve been so much better if they focused on only 4 or 5 stories instead of 10.

        • MrX13

          Agreed! I do like both CHS and ToH but CHS was the better because they were able to expand on the stories more than the ToH stories.

  • MrX13

    Christmas Horror Story, Krampus (2015), and Rare Exports are the only ones I’ve seen and so far are really great films. The others mentioned look like crap and probably not worth watching. But who knows, I’m always watching horror movies and could pick one to watch.

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