ByJessica Harmon, writer at
The ultimate fangirl - spends most nights watching back-to-back old Buffy episosdes and complaining about being tired for work the next day.
Jessica Harmon

There's a couple of Krampus movies due out this year - first out of the gate, Krampus : The Reckoning from Robert Conway. Here's the synopsis : “Zoe is a strange little girl, with a not so imaginary friend the Krampus who is the dark companion of kindly old St. Nicholas. The Krampus has been unleashed upon a small town and the legendary demon will seek out all the naughty people to punish them at Christmas time. No one is safe as the Krampus hunts them down, tortures them and then drags their helpless souls to the depths of hell.“

What inspired you to become a director?

In many ways I’ve been a filmmaker all my life. When I was I child I would produce films with the brother and friends and never really stopped. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to peruse a career in film as I was taken away with the magic of it all. I have always been a storyteller and movies have always been my favourite medium. I never really considered another career though at times this choice was very difficult. In some ways it still is but the love of the craft is what keeps me going.

Was horror always something you were interested in? Or why do you think you gravitate towards it?

I would say that my writing was always a bit darker and that even when I worked in other genres, there was an element of horror in nearly everything going all the way back to my student film days so I think what happed is more of a natural progression of me being a good fit for the genre and the genre being a place where I find acceptance and appreciation for my kind of storytelling. I never said I wanted to be a horror filmmaker, I just knew I wanted to be a filmmaker and because of the content of the stories I would write were dark, I found that Horror was a great place to work and play and it still is.

What horror films did you enjoy growing up? And what would you consider your favorites now?

I’ve enjoyed my share of slashers for the great mix of camp and macabre and my film Exit to Hell was my chance to make a crazy slash fest of my own but for the most part I think my first real influence was the original Twilight Zone which started my love affair with science-fiction/horror that I got a chance to pay homage to with my film The Encounter. But my taste is pretty extensive and influences are many. I love the supernatural terror of the original Exorcist. A great film that is as good today as it ever was. Also, the thought provoking psychotic Doctor Hannibal Lector is one of my favs as he takes us on a journey into his brilliant yet morbid mind which makes Silence of the Lambs one of the best films of all time let alone horror films. These are a couple examples of classics but what I really favour now are films that I find creative for two reasons. The first is that they are good solid horror films but 2nd is the fact that they were made for very modest budgets. To me these films like Honey Moon or Starry Eyes have two kinds of creativity that I appreciate. Of course the first is simply the fact that they can stand on their own as good solid Horror’s that invoke thought, keep us guessing and deliver on the scares but the 2nd factor is that they were able to make great use of there limited means and the movie didn’t suffer as a result of it’s low budget. As an independent film producer, I am always happy to see my fellow indies do it right. There is a very refreshing and honest quality to true independents and maybe that’s because none of us are doing it for any other reason then the fact that we love the genre. We put so much of ourselves into these films that I think audiences are given a chance to see the madness of art through adversity. I think that’s what makes independent Horror the most exciting Horror out there. Add that to the fact that for the most part we don’t need to abide by MPAA standards so fans can get a much more hard a fierce experience than our mega budget counterparts.

Did any of those films inspire Krampus : the Reckoning?

I approached Krampus: the Reckoning as a dark fantasy. The punisher aspect of the Krampus is what attracted me to the idea as it’s a common thread in a lot of my films. So for this Krampus I would say my biggest influence were classic Grimm Bros style fairy tales as opposed to other Horror films.

When you got wind that Universal was also doing a Krampus movie did you consider doing something else? Or did you embrace the competition?

Well I can never really compete with a mega budget film like Universal’s Krampus and yes, I knew that is was being made when I decided to do mine ( ALWAYS THE CASE) but because it seems to me as a writer that every time I decide to do a film, someone (in this case someone huge) is in development on a similar idea, I’ve long since learned not to be discouraged by this. If you have a good story and it’s worth telling than that’s enough. Weather a mega budget film helps or hurts an independent like me, is not what I concern myself with. I just make my film and do the best I can to deliver what’s in my head onto the screen. TV screen in my case !

Acting wise, who is in the suit?

Well the suit was only a partial as the creature was for the most part CGI but it was an actor driven performance provide by Bill Connor who did a great job and provided the base for our 3D modeller Borja Ortiz to base Krampus’s movements on.

Is there anything you did differently on Krampus that you didn’t do or did do on The Encounter?

The Encounter was my foray into found footage and though I am proud of that film and enjoyed making it, it was really nice to go back to shooting a film in the standard way with multiple angels and things to cut to. It felt like a home coming of sorts and made for a far less stressful production.

Krampus : The Reckoning is on DVD and Digital November 3


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