Krampus Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

“Santa Claus won’t come”: analysis of the film “Krampus” (2015): plot summary, ending explanation, meaning of the film, similar movies.

Country: USA

Genre: horror, drama, comedy

Year of production: 2015

Director: Michael Dougherty

Actors: MJ Anthony, Adam Scott, Toni Collette

Slogan: “Santa Claus won’t come this year”

The plot of the film “Krampus” develops around an average American family who is preparing to celebrate the most important holiday of the year. However, pleasant expectations are not destined to come true.

What is the movie about

Brief description of the contents of the picture. Christmas Eve. They ask young Max: did he write a letter to Santa Claus? The boy believes in the existence of a good wizard, so he had already thought through and composed a message to him long ago.

But Max’s sister, Beth, hates Christmas. Secluded in her room, she chats with her boyfriend and at that moment hears the sound of an approaching car. Relatives came to visit them: the sister of the mother of the family, Sarah, named Linda, her husband Howard and their sons – Stevie, Jordan and Howie. And with them came Aunt Dorothy, who has a very tense relationship with Sarah.

MJ Anthony of the film Krampus
The role of little Max was played by Emjay Anthony. Still from the film Krampus

Despite her dislike for her elderly aunt, Sarah tries her best to be friendly and hospitable: after all, Christmas is a family holiday, which means that all grievances should be forgotten.

Meanwhile, Max’s cousins ​​steal his letter to Santa and read it out loud. Upset boy shouting “I hate Christmas!” runs away to his room. Max’s father Tom tries to console him, but the guy takes all his words with hostility. Realizing that the letter to Santa made no sense, Max tears it up and throws it away. Immediately after this, the city is covered by a strong snowstorm.

The next morning, Max sees through the window that the yard is covered with snow. Due to the raging elements, the house was left without electricity, heating, hot water and communications. At this moment the courier arrives and delivers the parcel. And there is also a red bag standing on the threshold, who knows how it ended up there. It is brought into the house along with the parcel.

Beth tries to ask her parents to take time off to visit her boyfriend – there is no connection, and she cannot send him congratulations. Tom and Sarah don’t really like this idea, but they decide to let their daughter go. On the way, Beth hears the soft tinkling of bells, and on the roof of one of the houses she sees a huge horned silhouette. The girl starts to run, and the monster begins to chase her and finally overtakes her…

Evening is coming. Tom, alarmed by the absence of his daughter, decides to go look for her, and Howard keeps him company. On the road they find an empty car, inside there are signs of a struggle. Guessing that something strange is happening, Howard takes the driver’s weapon just in case.

Slowly the men get to Beth’s boyfriend’s house. There is no one in the room, and on the floor they find large strange marks, as if from hooves. At this moment, the monster that attacked Beth attacks them and injures Howard. Tom manages to drive him away with a shot – but hardly far and for long…

Alison Tolman of the film Krampus
Alison Tolman as Linda, Adam Scott as Tom, Toni Collette as Sarah. Still from the film Krampus

The rest, meanwhile, are waiting for their relatives to return. Suddenly they hear a noise on the roof – clearly someone is walking there. But Sarah is much more worried about the sound of the gunshot. Confident that Tom and Howard are in trouble, she goes outside, but at that moment both return. Frightened Tom is sure that they need to barricade themselves at home and wait for morning.

A little later, the old grandmother explains to the others what is happening: the answer is that they were attacked by Krampus, an ancient demon who punishes those who lose hope and the true meaning of Christmas. In the past, she met with a monster and only miraculously survived…

Meanwhile, the monster begins to hunt children. Fatty Howie is the first to take the bait (almost literally) – an invisible force drags him through the fireplace.

Then he attacks Stevie and Jordan, and soon the whole family is attacked by monstrous toys from the red bag. The house is then infiltrated by dark elves who take Dorothy and Howard away.

Krampus eventually takes everyone except Max. He gives the boy a Christmas ball wrapped in scraps of his letter: his name is written on the toy. After this, the monster leaves.

The boy, who has lost all his loved ones, has only one interpretation of everything that happened: only he is to blame for the appearance of Krampus. So he needs to fix everything…

Krampus Ending explained

Explanation of the ending of the picture. In the finale, Max runs after Krampus, who is preparing to go to his world, and demands that he return “everything as it was.” He apologizes for losing the Christmas spirit, after which the demon grabs him and throws him into a fiery pit.

Suddenly Max wakes up in his bed. Outside the window it is quiet, calm and very beautiful. All relatives are alive and well. Convinced that it was all just a nightmare, he opens his gift and is horrified to see the Christmas ball given to him by Krampus. At this point, the scene moves back and it becomes clear that Max’s house is inside a decorative glass ball, which lies in the Krampus workshop.

The meaning of the ending of the movie Krampus is that the family is trapped. Krampus fulfilled the boy’s wish and now he has excellent relationships with all his relatives, but only in another reality – in the glass ball of the demon.

According to another interpretation, through this ball the monster gave them another chance and is now watching them. Now it is up to them who will visit them next Christmas – St. Nicholas or his ominous horned companion…

The meaning of the film Krampus

Nowadays, we increasingly want to watch films that can truly surprise. It is impossible to say that absolutely all such films are good. However, most directors are not afraid to take risks and as a result they produce films that remain in the memory for a long time.

According to many viewers who analyzed “Krampus,” it belongs precisely to such films. This is a fairly simple story and there is no hidden meaning in it. However, it is memorable (not least because of the gloomy atmosphere of hopelessness) and makes you think seriously.

Toni Collette of the film Krampus
Toni Collette as Sarah, MJ Anthony as Max. Still from the film Krampus

The plot centers on the story of Krampus. This is the dark spirit of Christmas, a companion and at the same time the antipode of St. Nicholas. If a kind old man gives gifts to children who have demonstrated good behavior during the year, then his horned “buddy,” on the contrary, punishes naughty people and hooligans. It is he who comes to Max’s family. And all because they all behaved badly…

The essence of the film is probably that the most important thing during the holiday season is not gifts and treats at all, but peace in the family and belief in miracles. Because in difficult times, only unity and mutual support help to cope with trials. Faith allows you not to lose heart even in the most hopeless situations. If we lose contact with loved ones and stop hoping, we can say that we ourselves will no longer exist.

“Krampus” is also valuable because it raises the deep theme of spiritual rebirth. The main characters change their attitude towards life and towards each other only when they find themselves in mortal danger. At the same time, they remember the true meaning of Christmas – after all, this warm and bright holiday is the ideal time for everyone to get together, forgive each other’s insults, unite, and become a real family.

From the point of view of film language, “Krampus” is a rather restrained creation. This is not a traditional “horror” film, but rather a dark anti-fairy tale. “Appreciate what you have,” this story tells us. – “Because at any moment you can lose it.”

In addition, the director reminds us of another common truth. It goes like this: watch your words and be careful what you wish for – because sometimes they come true.

Christmas monster of the film Krampus
Still from the film Krampus (2015)

Similar films

Here are several films that are somewhat similar in meaning to the film “Krampus”:

  • “Bloody Santa” (Netherlands, 2010). A dangerous demon starts hunting children.
  • “Santa for Sale” (Finland, Norway, France, Sweden, 2010). What if Santa is not a kind wizard, but a creepy monster frozen in icy silence?..
  • “Christmas Scary Stories” (Canada, 2015). The picture consists of 4 short stories, united by one theme.
  • “The Grinch Stole Christmas” (USA, Germany, 2000). One day, the Grinch got offended and stole Christmas from the townspeople.
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