Michael Dougherty, the director of the cult Halloween film Trick 'r Treat, has tackled a new Holiday: Christmas. Ever wondered about the story of Krampus, the demonic dark reflection of Saint Nick, who punishes children in Bavarian folklore? This is where Krampus the movie comes in.
Krampus follows a dysfunctional family, with members who are always at each others' throats, as multiple generations in the clan are forced to spend Christmas together. And after cousins piss off the family's youngest son, the boy angrily destroys his letters to Santa.
As a result, he accidentally summons the evil Christmas demon known as Krampus, whose main purpose in life is to drag all families who lost their understanding of the Christmas spirit down to Hell. Because, yeah, I guess God would let you be sent down to Hell if you didn't worship the birth of his son Jesus Christ.
But he doesn't work alone as he has evil little satanic demon helpers that help him round up the kiddies and their parents. Dear God, I'd hate to see what he eats instead of milk and cookies.
I enjoyed this movie for the most part, mostly because of its tone. Michael Dougherty said this wasn't intended to be an all-out horror movie, but rather a "family friendly" horror film with lots of dark and cynical comedy. Krampus never takes itself too seriously and is for the most part a lot of fun. It has some good laughs, a genuinely dark atmosphere, and stays true to the valuable moral of what Christmas truly means.
But now let's get down to my biggest question: WHAT THE FUCK WAS UP WITH THE ENDING?!
If you're reading this I assume that you've already seen the movie, but just to be safe, I'll give you an (already pretty obvious) SPOILER ALERT.
Towards the end of the movie, Krampus's helpers have successfully rounded up all of the shit-headed family members and are about to whisk them off to Hell. However, Krampus allows the youngest son to go free because (as his grandmother stated earlier in the film) he will serve as a reminder of what would happen to those who lost the ideas of what Christmas truly means. But he stubbornly refuses and demands that his family be returned to him and that Krampus take him instead as he was the one that caused his family their misery. Krampus agrees but instead of letting the family go, he just tosses them all away to Hell. Because yeah, kid, he's evil remember?
But right when it appears that everything is over for them, the son wakes up in his bed on Christmas morning, where everything appears to be calm and peaceful. He walks downstairs and sees his whole family having some laughs and sitting around the tree waiting for him to come and open his presents.
"Oh dear family I had the worst dream. You were there, and you were there, and you were there too. And we were all trying to defend ourselves against some evil Christmas demon and his army of little monster toys that wanted to whisk us off to Hell because we were all a bunch of dick heads that didn't understand the true value of Christmas."
"No more peppermint schnapps before bed dear."
But when everything seems fine and dandy, he opens up a small box that contains a bauble bearing the name Krampus. This proves the whole experience wasn't just a dream; it did actually happen. The family members look to each other in fear and shock as memories of the night flood back into their minds.
We then see a far shot of the house covered in snow, and as the camera continues to pan out we see that the house is contained in a snow globe that Krampus places on a shelf full of other snow globes with houses inside of them.
So is this Krampus's weird version of Hell where they're all trapped in Christmas forever?
Or did Krampus give them an extra chance at life and is just watching over them in order to assure that they don't misbehave again?
And if this was the case then why did the family's personality all suddenly change? Wouldn't they have to learn to accept each other themselves and learn the true values of Christmas on their own?
Or did Krampus just send them to a different universe other than Hell where they can live happily since the son understood what Christmas truly means?
And what was the deal with all of the other snow globes with houses in them? Were they all of the other people whose houses we saw get destroyed in this movie that shared the same fate?
Wasn't God supposed to be the one who determined somebody's fate in the afterlife instead of having a Christmas demon send them all to Hell or some whacky Christmas universe?
I'm not sure what to take away from this ending. I suppose it was intentionally left open for audiences to determine it for themselves.
As for me, I'm just confused. And I'm sure I'm not the only one that is.
Have you seen Krampus? If so, what was your take on the ending? Let me know down below and have a merry Krampus... oh wait, I mean Christmas.