Horror movie

The Advent Calendar Review (2021) – a thrill Christmas horror film worth trying

It’s donation season, but what happens when you get more than what you ask for? Written and directed by Patrick Ridremont, The Advent Calendar takes a sacred Christmas tradition and gives it a murderous twist in a fun, albeit predictable and sometimes slow, horror film. Filled with morbid but festive myths that all Krampus fans will likely cling to, the monsters movie revolves around a cursed German advent calendar, the little doors of which all carry extraordinary gifts but require bloody sacrifices. in exchange.

The premise of The Advent Calendar is simple and is clearly laid out in the first ten minutes of the film, allowing us to dive right into the supernatural action right off the bat. The film tells the story of Eva (Eugénie Derouand), a former paraplegic dancer for three years. In the first act of the film, we see her struggling in her daily life, having to deal with discrimination in her workplace, dealing with her father’s Alzheimer’s disease, and navigating the constant prejudices in society to simply exist in a wheelchair. However, just when it looks like things couldn’t get worse, Eva’s luck changes (well, sort of) on her birthday night.

Eva receives a mysterious German Advent calendar as a gift from her carefree friend Sophie (Honorine Magnier). But she soon discovers that there is much more than chocolate behind the small numbered doors on this calendar. Each day during the countdown to December 24, Eva realizes that one of her wishes is granted once she has eaten the candy on the calendar. But as she continues to get what she wants, she encounters horrific scenes and notices that people are dropping like flies around her. The Advent calendar turns out to be cursed more than a blessing, housing some sort of demonic monster – who insists Eva opens all doors and takes part in the bloody countdown to Christmas Eve .

The concept of the Advent Calendar is clear and concise. It plays in the direction of the concept of “monkey’s paw” that we have seen time and time again in the genre. Wishes and gifts have consequences, and the horror is imbued with another intrigue revolving around the main character’s morality as he struggles with his internal greed. That being said, The Advent Calendar’s ‘clean’ concept doesn’t prevent its storyline from becoming repetitive at times, especially as the film goes through the various days of December and the wishes start to look the same. .

While the film is a fun watch, its second act is slow and the killings start to mix. The Calendar Monster continues to kill the people around Eva in exchange for every open wooden door, and this dynamic is never interrupted or altered, which makes the story of the film predictable and not so scary. This way, it feels like the Advent calendar is doing too much and not enough at the same time. Just one of the many deaths shown in the film seems monumental or contributes to the overall progression of Eva’s story.

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It should also be noted that with each kill, we have a better overview of the monster, which looks less impressive each time it appears on the screen. His ugly lipless face remains striking; However, her body with etched numbers and random third degree burns just isn’t intimidating under fluorescent lighting. It’s a shame that the scares weren’t taken further in The Advent Calendar, as the film had the potential to create real unease. There is leading body horror in this thriller, and Derouand is absolutely fantastic in his portrayal of an overwhelmed horror protagonist.

Criticism of the Advent Calendar: Eva and the Advent Calendar

While the film doesn’t give us all we need for a good old-fashioned Christmas scare, we have to admire Derouand’s performance, as well as the aesthetic seen in The Advent Calendar. The Advent calendar itself that we see in the film screams an old-fashioned Christmas market, with its wooden structure almost resembling a deadly contraption from the Brothers Grimm’s storybook. Likewise, the gloomy atmosphere of the city’s greyish backdrop in the film’s cinematography perfectly sets the mood for a sinister supernatural tragedy. It’s a shame that the film’s pacing and editing decisions get in its own way.

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That being said, the horror of the holidays isn’t easy to come by, and the Advent calendar can seem slow in places, but will never let you get bored. Full of darkness and deliciously ridiculous killings (just wait for that dog and Range Rover scene), here’s a Christmas treat you won’t at least regret trying.

The Advent Calander will be released on the Shudder streaming service on December 2. You can sign up for the spooky streamer by clicking on our affiliate link here.

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