From the wicked mind that brought us the Halloween cult classic Trick 'r Treat, director Michael Dougherty, comes a new thriller just in time for Christmas, Universal Pictures' Krampus. With just under two weeks until Krampus hits theaters, the studio has released a new featurette. This preview not only shows how Krampus has invaded mainstream culture, but offers insight into how this terrifying legend came to be.

This preview features footage from TV shows such as The League, Family Guy and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, along with news footage showing how real-life people are trying to keep the Krampus tradition alive by dressing up as this demonic companion to St. Nicholas. Born out of Pagan folklore, the legend of Krampus reveals that he punishes naughty children by beating them with branches, putting them in a sack, and dragging them to hell. Now fans will finally get to see this mythical creature terrorize a new family on the big screen.

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Legendary Pictures' and Universal Pictures' Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is 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.

The horror-comedy also stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania Owen and Krista Stadler. Krampus and his mischievous underlings have been created by the combined efforts of Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, both renowned for their epic work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and King Kong, among many others. Written and directed by Michael Dougherty (Trick 'r Treat), 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 film will be released on December 4 by Universal Pictures, which is currently the only wide release in theaters that weekend. This could mean that Krampus could rake in big bucks at the box office, with no competition, but last weekend's winner The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will still be going strong into December, along with this weekend's new releases The Good Dinosaur, Creed and Victor Frankenstein. While we wait to see how Krampus fares at the box office, take a look at this new preview to learn more about the history of this evil presence.