Book Review: The Art Of Krampus
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The Art of Krampus
Written by Michael Mallory
Foreword by Michael Dougherty
Insight Editions
Release Date: November 24, 2015

Krampus, director Michael Dougherty‘s new Christmas horror film, centers on the European legend, an anti-Santa Claus who comes for all the bad boys and girls. The Christmas demon has cloven hooves and horns, and drags chains as well as the people he comes to abduct. When Krampus comes to town, he doesn’t travel alone; he arrives with a horde of minions, from dark elves and menacing snowmen to possessed cherubs and demonic teddy bears, and much more, all of which were rendered in the film by Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, best known for their extraordinary work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.

The Art of Krampus, a 160-page full-color coffee table book from Insight Editions, written by Michael Mallory, delves into the concept and art design, as well as the practical and digital effects for the film. With a forward by Dougherty, who also co-wrote the screenplay, the book begins with the origins of Krampus before moving on to the behind-the-scenes looks at several portions from the film, such as the shopping mall opening sequence, the attack in the fireplace, and the dark elves out in the blizzard.

Dougherty, who gave us a new take on the tales of Halloween in Trick “˜r Treat, has an obvious passion and knack for holiday storytelling, and with Krampus, he takes the usual stress and family obligations of the Christmas season and gives it a scary twist. While The Art of Krampus has a lot of details about the design of the film, there’s also a lot about the story itself.

Unlike a lot of other coffee table art books that are photo and illustration-heavy, The Art of Krampus surprisingly provides a lot of text to accompany its images, with input from the cast and crew.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the look at Krampus’ workshop and its stark difference from Santa’s, and the entire section on creating the Krampus character, as well as the inclusion of several more lighthearted aspects of the film, such as the Engel family’s awkward photos with Santa. The completest in me loves that there’s even a small area devoted to Douglas Pipes’ scoring of the film. (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is available now in MP3 format.)

If you liked Krampus, you’ll really enjoy combing through this hardcover, which is both an art book as well as a making-of documentation. If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend you do, and then pick up The Art of Krampus, a book which also makes a great gift for the horror fans on your gift-giving list this holiday season.

In Alpine folklore, Krampus is a fearsome horned figure who punishes naughty children during the Christmas season, just as Saint Nick rewards those who behave. Writer/director Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat, Superman Returns, X-Men 2) brings this iconic figure to life in a modern-day horror comedy set against the perfect suburban holiday celebration. The Art of Krampus takes a look at how this terrifying character inspired the filmmaker and Legendary Pictures to create a movie that captures the dark side of the holidays. With fascinating concept art and unit photography showcasing the most thrilling, suspenseful, and horrifying moments of the movie alongside insightful commentary from the cast and crew, this deluxe coffee-table book details all that went into crafting Dougherty’s eagerly-awaited Yuletide horror film. Visually stunning and comprehensive, The Art of Krampus is the perfect holiday gift for horror enthusiasts.

Preview Art

Preview Pages

[Preview art and pages courtesy of Insight Editions and used with permission.]

Book Cover

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