The portrayal of movie villains has seen iconic figures like Darth Vader, Michael Myers, and Sauron striking fear into audiences. However, amid these towering cinematic adversaries stands an unexpected yet chilling figure as the epitome of a perfect and timeless villain – Santa Claus himself.
Yes, Santa Claus, the embodiment of festive joy and kindness, bears the attributes of a classic supervillain when viewed through a different lens. Despite numerous family movies depicting Santa as a hero, it’s essential to delve into the reasons behind considering him a quintessential antagonist.
Santa Claus’ origins trace back to the Turkish Saint, St. Nicholas, who, by all accounts, was a compassionate and generous figure. However, folklore, predating Hollywood’s influence, has hinted at Santa’s potential dark side. One key element that casts a shadow over his cheerful image is his association with Krampus, a horned creature often depicted as a terrifying entity accompanying Santa. Krampus was believed to deal with naughty children while Santa focused on the nice ones, underscoring a darker side to the benevolent image.
Moreover, Santa’s practice of rewarding good children while punishing naughty ones raises eyebrows. While traditionally delivering coal to misbehaving kids may seem harmless, it signifies a form of bullying and embarrassment, revealing a questionable aspect of his character.
In cinema, several movies and series, like “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale,” “Saint,” and “Christmas Evil,” have portrayed Santa as a menacing figure, exploiting his omnipotent abilities and warped sense of judgment to execute violent acts or manipulate those deemed unworthy.
The most intimidating quality of Santa, akin to iconic film villains, lies in his omnipotence. An immortal figure commanding legions of elves, traveling the world in a single night, and possessing a specific worldview, Santa fits the bill. Furthermore, his lack of empathy toward naughty kids’ fate, as well as his coercive tactics to conform to his version of ‘nice,’ further aligns with the traits of classic film antagonists.
These depictions emphasize Santa’s unstoppable and inhuman nature, making him a force to be reckoned with, akin to Voldemort or a Xenomorph from “Alien.” The impossibility of ‘killing’ Christmas, and by extension, Santa, places him in an untouchable category among movie villains.
Therefore, the appeal lies in exploring the darker facets of Santa’s character, a departure from the traditional cheerful narratives. The fascination with his concealed psychopathic tendencies in storytelling offers a fresh take on the beloved festive figure and opens doors to a diverse range of narratives centered around his darker persona.