Deep in the Wood

The 2015 Italian movie Deep in the Wood (In fondo al bosco) is set in an alpine village and begins on Krampusnacht, when a young boy goes missing amidst the chaos of the annual festivities, when the streets are overrun with shaggy, horned devils. When he mysteriously reappears five years later but behaves uncannily, some of the villagers believe he was taken by evil spirits who were abroad on that night, and is perhaps one of them himself.

While there have been a few bad horror movies in recent years centered on the “character” of Krampus as villain (along with one decent horror-comedy, and one using Perchta but still cashing in on the popularity of Krampus), this is the first one I’ve seen that uses the real life mumming customs as a backdrop, as well as the underlying fears and beliefs they embody.

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