Santa is back and he’s sexier than ever, but this time he’s not alone. In the first trailer for Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles 2, Goldie Hawn joins her partner Kurt Russell as the greatest couple of all time. This year, they’re trying to save their home and the holidays from a Christmas horror that makes Krampus look chill.
Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for The Christmas Chronicles 2, which sees Russell returning as the sunglasses-wearing, wildcat-hunting badass who gives presents to kids on Christmas but, like, isn’t all weird about it. Kate (Darby Camp) finds herself once again in Santa’s path as she and Jack (Jahzir Bruno), the son of Kate’s mom’s new boyfriend, are “accidentally” whisked away to the magical North Pole. Of course, it was no accident.
As you see in the trailer, it was the machinations of Belsnickel, played by Deadpool 2's Julian Dennison. He’s determined to steal the North Pole’s magical Christmas Star, which was given to Santa by the forest elves thousands of years ago, so the North Pole would be exposed and unprotected. Sure why not add a weird new mythos into this movie franchise? That’s exactly what every holiday movie needs nowadays: convoluted mythology.
In the plot description, Belsnickel is referred to as a “mysterious, magical troublemaker,” but the truth is so much weirder than that. Belsnickel is a holiday folkloric figure—once played by Dwight on The Office—who was brought to Pennsylvania by German immigrants. He’s described as Santa’s cousin, companion, or servant (depending on who you ask), and will visit kids one or two weeks before Santa does to offer them a test. As described by Pennsylvania’s Americana Region, kids who fail get a hell of a lot worse than coal in their stockings:
He carries a switch in his hand for the naughty and pocketsful of cakes, candies, and nuts for well-behaved children. Upon his arrival, children are called upon to answer questions for him or sing him a song. In exchange, he throws cakes, candies, and nuts onto the floor. If children dive greedily for the treats or can’t recount their good behavior throughout the year, the Belsnickel will threaten to swat their hands or back with his switch. The well-mannered boys and girls get rewarded with the treats. The Belsnickel’s visit serves to remind children that they still have time to stay out of mischief before Christmas Day and to think twice before misbehaving.
So yeah, he’s basically a more fucked-up version of Elf on the Shelf who offers you candy and then whips you with a tree branch if you take it. I’m guessing Christmas Chronicles 2 isn’t going to dress its Belsnickel in rags and antlers, nor have him beat up children, but I couldn’t help but marvel at this family-friendly holiday film choosing to pay tribute to one of the many bizarre and horrific figures of Christmases past.
The Christmas Chronicles 2 was written and directed by Chris Columbus and is set to come out on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated Kurt Russell and Golden Hawn were married. In fact, they are partners. We regret the error.
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