The Meaning of ‘Krampus’ by Michael Dougherty (2015)

The film was shot in 2015 and directed by Michael Dougherty. The genre of the movie is horror in fantasy style with an admixture of comedic mood. It was this mixture of cinematic styles that led to the great interest of the audience in this film. It was possible to collect approximately 61.5 million dollars – this is not surprising, because the plot is based on an amazing legend about the “colleague” of Nicholas the Wonderworker – the evil spirit of Christmas Krampus. He carried birch rods with him and thus punished children who did not obey their parents. But it is worth noting that in this film the legend is somehow changed, and sparkled with new colors for horror lovers.

It all starts with a nice family get-together of the Angel family and their relatives, who stopped by to visit them just before Christmas. The idyll does not last very long – family members quarrel among themselves, and even children cannot find a common language. Max is offended by Steve and Joe – they laugh at him because he still believes in the miracle of Christmas and in Santa Claus, who brings gifts to good children under the tree. They take away from him the letter that he wrote to Santa, and with mockery begin to read it to everyone present. Max breaks down and tears up the letter, taking it away from the offenders.

After that, very strange and at the same time terrible events unfold: Beth kills some strange creature that appeared out of the box, and a chain with a hook envelops the little boy and pulls him through the fireplace. Soon their house caught fire, but the fire was extinguished. After all this, the grandmother tells the legend of the terrible creature Krampus, who long ago wanted to destroy her family. This happened after her family had a similar fight at Christmas and she made a wish never to see her family again. The wish came true – Krampus took everyone to the underworld, and left little Omi a balloon with his name.

History repeats itself – monsters and evil elves catch everyone and drag them under the snow. Only little Max remains alive. Krampus also gives him a Christmas toy with the same ominous inscription. After that, the whole family is thrown into the abyss, including Max, who asks not to kill his relatives. Nobody listens to him, and Krampus throws him into the same bottomless pit.

In the morning, Max wakes up and realizes that all this is a terrible nightmare. He comes to relatives to unpack gifts together. In one of the drawers, he came across a toy with the words “Hello from Krampus” written on it. Family members remember together what they had to endure.

At the end of the film, we see that the family’s house is in a glass ball, and Krampus is watching him.

What is the point of this movie? Two meanings can be distinguished from the plot outline: the importance of family cohesion and the inevitability of retribution for one’s actions. How these two meanings interact with each other – we will analyze further.

Discord in the family around Christmas made Max make a wish, which, unfortunately, came true. This suggests that dreams can still come true if, at the moment of making a guess, you believe in what you want with all your heart. But it is important not to bring family members to the point where they dreamed of getting rid of their relatives. Love and understanding is what can save a family from any adversity. We see that the terrible events that unfold further in the story unite the family a little, but this is not for long. A chill still runs between family members – they are not ready to defeat terrible monsters with the power of their love. If they were ready to make peace and avoid a quarrel on a beautiful Christmas evening, everything would be different.

The finale of the film indicates that although the legend of Krampus is just a fiction, there are forces that are ready to destroy the family. For this, it is necessary that mutual understanding and love disappear in it. Krampus is watching the family and waiting for the next Christmas to get into people’s souls and break their lives. In real life, these can be life circumstances or even people who wish harm to another family or envy them. To some extent this is true: each person must understand the possibility of consequences of his actions. If, through his fault, the idyll of the family has cracked, something may happen soon that could have been avoided simply by maintaining the old way of the family.

The main meaning of this film is that a person should try to bring only goodness into this world and radiate harmony and tranquility. After all, there is already enough evil and misunderstanding in this world. It depends only on us whether our existence will become at least a little better or will be filled with bad thoughts and ill-conceived desires.

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