In eastern European folklore, Krampus is a horned and hoofed monster who tears about punishing badly-behaved children during the holiday season – he’s basically the anti-Santa. Director Michael Dougherty has brought this aeons-old demon to the big screen for his new movie Krampus, an entertaining blend of comedy and horror set at a squabbling family’s Christmas celebrations in an affluent, snow-capped US suburb.

“Michael Dougherty really wanted to make a movie that tone-wise was aligned with the Amblin movies of the ’80s like Poltergeist and Gremlins and E.T.,” says the film’s star, Parks And Recreation actor Adam Scott. “I hadn’t seen a movie like that being made for years, so I was excited, because those were the movies I grew up on and that I really love. And then the script was terrific, so I just really wanted to be part of [this film].”

Dougherty adds that Krampus was also inspired by several other yuletide movies with a sprinkling of dark comedy, such as Home Alone and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. “It’s the juxtaposition and the contrast in those movies that really works, I think,” the director explains. Watch Scott and Dougherty discuss Krampus – and pick their all-time favourite Christmas films and songs – in our video interviews below.

Krampus opens in UK cinemas today (December 4)