Mike Dougherty and David Koechner Turn Tradition on Its Head in ‘Krampus’

     October 27, 2015


Director Mike Dougherty has already delivered a Halloween classic. Now it’s time to see what he can do with Christmas. It’s been six years since Dougherty’s feature directorial debut, Trick ‘r Treat, hit DVD and gained a massive following, but he’s finally back behind the lens with Krampus. The movie centers on a dysfunctional family who just can’t get along, even during the holiday. When all the fighting causes young Max (Emjay Anthony) to lose his Christmas spirit, he winds up unleashing Krampus, an evil creature that targets and punishes the non-believers.

Krampus isn’t hitting theaters until December 4th, but Universal held an early press day at the ScareHouse in Pittsburgh where I got the opportunity to sit down with Dougherty and David Koechner to discuss making the movie. Check out what they told me about the Krampus mythology, the creature’s scare tactics, the exhausting experience of being dragged through the snow, how Dougherty made ADR a terrifying task for Koechner and much more in the video interview below.

David Koechner & Mike Dougherty:

  • 00:40 – Of all Christmas legends, why choose Krampus; what makes it cinematic.
  • 01:45 – How much mythology will we get in the movie?
  • 02:22 – Did Dougherty ever consider using the anthology format?
  • 02:54 – Dougherty breaks down the Krampus hierarchy.
  • 03:19 – Some creatures are puppets, others are people in costumes.
  • 03:39 – Krampus is between 8 and 9 feet tall.
  • 04:50 – On nailing the jack-in-the-box scare.
  • 05:34 – Working with puppets, puppeteers, practical monsters, babies and a dog.
  • 05:52 – Dougherty reveals Krampus’ scare tactics.
  • 06:19 – Was there anything about the mythology that they couldn’t include in the movie?
  • 06:30 – Koechner on scoring a role in the movie; the great cast.
  • 07:31 – On shooting the scene when Koechner gets dragged through the snow.
  • 08:14 – Dougherty’s Christmas tradition.
  • 08:59 – The time Dougherty terrified Koechner during an ADR session.


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