The GBHBL Definitive Ranking of Krampus in Horror Movies

Krampus. The anti-Santa. It’s always amusing to see how folklore is taken and transformed into something that exists in popular culture. Although the origins of Krampus are unclear, the horned, anthropomorphic figure existence stems from Central and Eastern European folklore.

The story of Krampus was seemingly designed to frighten children who were naughty. Instead of Saint Nicholas visiting at Christmas, if the child was naughty, Krampus would be paying them a visit instead.

It must have had some effect because Krampus has become as synonymous with the festive period as Santa Claus. So, of course, such a creature would inevitably end up in a horror movie or two, with wildly varying results.

We’ve seen a lot of Krampus related horror movies. Some have been good; others have been terrible. So, this is our definitive ranking of the Krampus movies that we have seen and reviewed on this website. Based around our original review score. If two movies scored the same then the position in this ranking will be decided by which we’d rather watch again. In the case of a few, that’s probably neither.

Buy Me a Coffee at

10. Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
Our Score: 0/10

Christmas Devil 1


Krampus: The Christmas Devil (not that Krampus movie) is an absolute shocker from beginning to end.

The story sees good old Krampus taking orders from Santa. Krampus is beholden to his brother Santa and kills kids who make the jolly one’s naughty list. Only until Christmas Eve though, Santa is very insistent about that.

If it doesn’t make you want to claw your eyeballs out, it will leave you curled up in a ball crying for Santa to bring you a brick so you can bludgeon yourself to death. Anything to escape the memory of this horrible horror movie. Read our full review here.

9. Krampus 2: The Devil Returns (2016)
Our Score: 0/10

Krampus: The Christmas Devil got the rare distinction of being given our first 0/10 for a Christmas horror movie. We absolutely hated it and if you had told us that it would get a sequel, we’d never have believed you. Or we’d at least begged it not to be true.

The ‘story’ is set 5 years after the events of the first movie and the hunt for Krampus is on.

To the surprise of no-one who saw the original, Krampus 2: The Devil Returns is a wretched movie. Easily as bad as the first, perhaps even worse at times. Whatever low standards you have, you’ll still come away shocked at the piss-poor quality of this movie. Read our full review here.

8. Mother Krampus / 12 Deaths of Christmas (2017)
Our Score: 1/10

Christmas 8

Based around the German urban legend of Frau Perchta. A Christmas witch who is said to take a child each night over the 12 days of Christmas.

Where do you start with this utter rubbish? The plot is mismatched rip-off of many other horrors & doesn’t seem to know what kind of movie it wants to be. The plot is so contrived that several times we get overly lengthy explanations about what happened in the past & what it means now. It makes it incredibly boring to watch.

Some decent gory moments can’t save this dumpster fire of a movie. Read our full review here.

7. Krampus: The Reckoning (2015)
Our Score: 3/10

Whatever you think you know about Krampus, forget it because Krampus: The Reckoning has completely different ideas. Very bad and very ugly ideas.

This Krampus is a horrendously ugly CGI demon thing that appears when a young girl wishes to punish those who she believes are bad. Not the actual legend of Krampus. This film’s version of the legend which is a ‘spirit demon’ conjured up by a child.

It’s particularly frustrating as this isn’t the worst Christmas horror you’d ever watch. It’s not good but it has some passable acting. Some decent effects and a surprising ending that is quite dark. However, it’s way too long which really highlights just how many scenes are nothing but filler. This could have easily had 15 minutes shaved off it and it wouldn’t make any real difference to the story. Read our full review here.

6. Krampus Origins (2018)
Our Score: 4/10

It’s not good. It’s not the worst Krampus related horror we’ve seen but it’s also so far from the best. The biggest crime? It’s so boring.

A troublesome student steals a magic book and reawakens the evil inside. Evil with horns and that goes by the name of Krampus. Although, he at first disguises himself as a new orphan to cause a bit bother that way.

This is one present you should return. Read our full review here.

5. Krampus: The Return (2022)
Our Score: 5/10

Lisa’s brother mysteriously dies in the lead-up to Christmas. Heart-broken and feeling a bit guilty (as she was supposed to go see him), she, her boyfriend and friends head off to his home to spend Christmas together and help get her through the festive period.

Unfortunately for them, the killer isn’t finished yet. It’s Krampus and he has more than coal to dish out this year.

The story is fine and has enough sub-plots to keep things engaging. The acting is fine, even if most of the characters have little in the way of definition. The horror is fine, although it’s in no way a scary movie, and the effects are fine, provided you can put up with rubber suits and a basic Krampus demon look.

It’s a ‘middle of the road’ kind of film. Neither good, nor bad. It’s simply fine. Read our full review here.

4. Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride (2018)
Our Score: 5.5/10

Competent and mildly enjoyable. High praise indeed.

This is not actually a proper sequel to the 2017 movie Mother Krampus/12 Deaths of Christmas. Rather a very loose sequel that is being marketed as such by its distributor.

The story surrounds four woman (one who happens to be a drag queen) who are finishing up their community service by delivering meals to the elderly at Christmas. Of course, this being a slasher, it’s all about who the killer is and all fingers seem to point at an elderly lady who the four women end up visiting. One by one, they are picked off and all in the name of Christmas.

It’s a mildly enjoyable horror with enough high points to keep you invested. Though, when compared to the first movie, it feels like Oscar winning stuff. Read our full review here.

3. Krampus Unleashed (2016)
Our Score: 6/10

A German-born outlaw named Eric Klaus buried his loot deep within the desert & left a warning telling people to stay far away otherwise bad stuff would happen. His treasure? A black rock. One that summons the demonic Krampus.

The film is short enough that it never feels like it’s dragging, it’s an entertaining Christmas horror that has a whole bunch of decapitations & guts being ripped out. Just like all family get gatherings end up being like on the 25th December. Read our full review here.

2. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
Our Score: 7/10

A Christmas Horror Story is an anthology…4 stories tied together around a radio DJ working a long & late shift over Christmas. The stories play out at the same time jumping between scenes of each. While this makes it feel like more of a complete movie it does ruin the pacing somewhat as just when you’re getting into one it will jump to one of the others.

Only one of the stories feature Krampus bit what a story it is. An unlikeable family visit their rich Aunt to try & get some money from her. On their trip home they come under attack from the evil Christmas spirit, Krampus. It’s fun & Krampus looks great. It also ties into the Santa Claus story with the pair having a fun face-off at the end of the movie. Read our full review here.

1. Krampus (2015)
Our Score: 8/10

A gorgeous, well-acted & often funny Christmas horror romp.

A huge blizzard hits a small town cutting the power out across the entire town. This is the precursor for the arrival of Krampus, who has come to claim a family who have lost their festive spirit. It’s all about surviving as Krampus & his minions assault the house with everything they’ve got.

It’s chaotic, violent & extremely fun.

What makes Krampus stand out more than most Christmas themed horror movies is the high budget, awesome costumes & effects. Time & money was spent here giving the film that ‘Hollywood’ sheen but it’s better for it.

Up there as one of the most fun Christmas horror movies to be released. While nowhere as violent or shocking as many it has enough moments to excite even the most hardcore of horror fans. Well filmed, well-acted & some great costumes…make Krampus you’re yearly Christmas tradition. Read our full review here.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

The GBHBL Definitive Ranking of Krampus in Horror Movies
  • Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013) - 0/10
  • Krampus 2: The Devil Returns (2016) - 0/10
  • Mother Krampus / 12 Deaths of Christmas (2017) - 1/10
  • Krampus: The Reckoning (2015) - 3/10
  • Krampus Origins (2018) - 4/10
  • Krampus: The Return (2022) - 5/10
  • Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride (2018) - 5.5/10
  • Krampus Unleashed (2016) - 6/10
  • A Christmas Horror Story (2015) - 7/10
  • Krampus (2015) - 8/10
User Review
  • Sending
    Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
  • Sending
    Krampus 2: The Devil Returns (2016)
  • Sending
    Mother Krampus / 12 Deaths of Christmas (2017)
  • Sending
    Krampus: The Reckoning (2015)
  • Sending
    Krampus Origins (2018)
  • Sending
    Krampus: The Return (2022)
  • Sending
    Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride (2018)
  • Sending
    Krampus Unleashed (2016)
  • Sending
    A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
  • Sending
    Krampus (2015)