Krampus: The Reckoning Interview

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From director Robert Conway (The Encounter) comes the most frightening film of the festive season. Meet Santa’s dark companion in Krampus: The Reckoning, gift-wrapped with fear this November 3 from Uncork’d Entertainment. At Gores Truly, we always love a good Krampusthemed event or film, so we were thrilled to hear about this new release.

The premise is that Zoe is a strange little girl, with a not so imaginary friend the Krampus. Krampus is, of course, the dark companion of kindly old St. Nicholas. 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! (This is just the film you were hoping for to brighten your holiday season, no?)

Krampus : The Reckoning is out on DVD and Digital November 3. We had the opportunity to chat with director Robert Conway and get some more details about the project.

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Gores Truly: How did this one come about, Robert?
Robert Conway: Thanks for asking, as it’s an interesting story. The idea of doing a Krampus movie started with a very simple thought. I first heard about the Krampus about a year ago and the idea of a Christmas demon was very attractive to me. When reading the Alpine lore about the origans of the creature, it struck me as being very Grimm Brothers. Krampus is a dark fantasy creature who, by some accounts pre-dates Christianity and has its roots in Germanic Pagan mythology. Mythology has something common with many Grimm tales in the sense that they are usually morality plays. There is a life lesson the story is trying to convey to the reader. There are actions and consequences. Very fundamental stuff that has universal applications, so I focused the idea around Krampus being the bringer of vengeance and that always makes for good fun when it comes to writing a script.

GT: How much of it is based on the actual legend?
R Conway: I think at its core our Krampus is very true to the legend in the fact that he is a punisher. He’s something for evil people to be frightened of and this is what happens in the film. The one difference being that our Krampus extends his reach beyond children as he targets adults and punishes them for their misdeeds.

GT: Were you familiar with the backstory of the Krampus?
R Conway: Yes, and I tried to add the story of the legend into the film and explain his relationship to Santa Claus or St. Nicholas. This is not the centre of our story but it is address and explained in the movie.

GT: How was the Krampus created?
R Conway: What sets our Krampus apart from the legend is that he is very muscular and strong looking. In much of the mythology, Krampus is depicted as rather small and hairy. This small hairy creature may work to scare children but when we expand his victim pool to include adults, I felt we needed to bulk him up a bit. I asked my concept artist Chris Cold to come up with some sketches of a bigger, stronger and more demonic Krampus then we took those sketches to our 3D modeller Borja Ortiz who brought him to life. This 3D monster works in conjunction with the amazing practical effects wizardry of Cat Bernier and the results were everything I could have hoped for.

GT: How do you think Krampus differs from your previous movies?
R Conway: With the exception of my last film The Encounter, all of my movies have centred on the idea of vengeance and punishment of the wicked. This was one of the aspects of the Krampus lore I found so interesting because I like when horror films can be more than just innocent victims at the mercy of a monster. In this way we create stories that are closer to the Grimm Brothers and Greek mythology which I really love exploring. I think in many ways good horror films are modern retellings of timeless stories. They are dark but there is a reason for the darkness.

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Friday, August 13th, 2010 – serendipitously inspired by the day – five friends decided there just wasn’t enough fem-driven horror sites on the internet. So to amend that we formed GoresTruly.com, a web site dedicated to everything well - horror. Movies, conventions, costumes, literature, comics and more.