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Michael Dougherty Shares Original ‘Krampus’ Character Sketches

Krampus is watching. Krampus is waiting.

Last year, Trick ‘r Treat writer/director Michael Dougherty unleashed Krampus, a holiday horror flick centered on the mythical Christmas demon from Alpine folkore. Dougherty was the first filmmaker to bring the big K to the big screen and give him his very own movie, and it’s hard to imagine anyone ever doing it better. He delivered THE definitive Krampus horror flick.

Dougherty, no stranger to creating instant horror icons (who doesn’t love Sam?!), damn sure brought us another one with the titular Krampus, a hulking, hooved monster clad in a Santa suit and appearing to wear the face of Santa Claus himself. It was Dougherty’s choice to hide the true face of Krampus, and he has recently confirmed that the demon was indeed wearing a flesh mask.

Whose face is it? Dougherty says it’s not Santa, but he hasn’t yet spilled the beans.

Over on Twitter today, @Mike_Dougherty celebrated the holiday season by showing off his original concept doodle for Krampus, along with a much more detailed second sketch of how he envisioned the character. He also tweeted out a couple Christmas cards he sent out many years prior to making Krampus, which ended up being used as the basis for the Anti-Claus’ minions.

If you own the book The Art of Krampus, you’ve probably already seen these, but for those who don’t, they provide some nice insight into the creation of last year’s holiday horror gem!



  • Jack Derwent

    I get the concept (that he’s wearing a ‘mask) but I wasn’t crazy about Krampus looking like Santa as much as he did. I’ve always preferred the more ‘classic’ look.

    • Bla Blah

      have u seen the other krampus movies? I think it makes him a little bit more unique, number one, and easier to take seriously. It creates a bit of mysterious about what is underneath the mask and as we all know, fear of the unknown is one of humans most basic fears.

      • Jack Derwent

        I haven’t seen the other ones but I read a book called ‘Krampus: The Yule Lord’ which has some art and I think the depiction of him there is my favorite.

        • Batmanfanboy

          So basically you only know one, and I just googled it, very boring design. Movie was far superior.

          • Jack Derwent

            I know several different variations of Krampus mainly due to his appearances in different artworks as well as the masks worn during Krampus parades. As far as the Yule Lord, I suppose it’s boring the same way the classic looks for Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster are ‘boring’ because they’re so well-known. But to me there’s a reason why they’re classic.

      • Rick-Taylor

        Other ones? I only know of A Christmas Horror Story and that Krampus design was very weak, although it is explained why. What are the other Krampus movies? I must see them.

        • Jack Derwent

          There are actually quite a few on IMDb like ‘Krampus: The Christmas Devil’ but they all appear to be DTV crap.

        • Bla Blah

          a couple low budget ones, that I think came out around the time of the theatrical Krampus movie (trying to cash in on confused buyers, i’d wager). or at least were in stores around that time. Just search “Krampus movies” on IMDB and I’m sure you’ll find em. The two I can recall didn’t have strong designs (Krampus Reckoning I think and another one)

  • ThunderDragoon

    I had no idea that he was wearing a flesh mask! I guess that explains the open mouth. That is so cool. I wonder whose face it is. 😀

  • TheRealBadHatHarry

    I hate people who say “based off.” It’s “based ON,” dopes.

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