A hidden Krampus Easter egg offers a subtle nod to the most famous Christmas horror film of them all
Krampus, the new horror adventure from Trick ‘r Treat writer and director Michael Dougherty, opened in theaters this past weekend in second place with an impressive $16 million. If you haven’t already checked the film out, stop reading now as the following reveal contains spoilers surrounding the new film’s ending. If you have already seen the film, you might have spotted a very cool Krampus Easter egg. If not, read on for exclusive details!
There have been quite a few Christmas horror films over the years, including popular entries like Gremlins, Black Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly Night. There’s one immensely famous Christmas horror film, however, nominated for four Academy Awards and often considered one of the greatest films of all time. Oddly enough, it wasn’t even originally intended to take place at Christmas!
That’s the opening shot of Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho, which this year celebrates its 65th anniversary. December 11 (which, this year, also falls on a Friday) is the date that Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane goes on the run with the rest of the story unfolding about a week later. Christmas itself may barely be on the periphery of Psycho, however there’s an interesting reason for the December setting.
“Hitchcock was mad as hell because he had sent out a second-unit crew to shoot process plates of the city streets,” Psycho set designer Robert Clatworthy explains in author Stephen Rebello’s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of ‘Psycho’, “When he saw what they’d shot, he noticed that Christmas decorations were hung over the street. He didn’t approve of that at all and said, ‘Hmm. That will take some explaining.’ He was always thinking about the audience, trying to outsmart him. You can see the decorations in the shots where Janet Leigh’s boss walks past her car and peers in the window. There wasn’t time to reshoot. So he added the date in the titles at the beginning and hoped some wiseacre wouldn’t wonder why there was no other reference to the holidays anywhere else in the picture.”
Noticing that Psycho was credited at the end of Krampus, ComingSoon.net asked Dougherty during our recent interview where the nod could be found in his new film.
“If you look at the snowglobes,” Dougherty smiled, “You might see the Bates Motel.”
To reduce spoilers, we’re not going to go into significant details regarding the importance of the snowglobes, but rest assured that the Bates Motel’s presence as Krampus Easter egg equates to more than just that of a souvenir!
A Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures release, Krampus follows young Max (Emjay Anthony) who, after his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, becomes disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
Krampus stars Toni Collette, Adam Scott, Allison Tolman, David Koechner, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania Lavie Owen and Krista Stadler. Written and directed by Dougherty, Krampus is co-written by Zach Shields and Todd Casey and produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, Alex Garcia and Dougherty. The 80s horror adventure throwback boats primarily practical effects from Weta Workshop.
Did you spot this Krampus Easter egg? Let us know in the comments below!