Friday, December 3, 2021

'Tis the Season - The Advent Calendar (2021)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: The Advent Calendar (2021)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 104 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Sombrero Films, Siddhi Films, Frakas Productions, Zed, Universal Pictures Video, Cinécap 3, Sofica Manon 10, Palatine Etoile 17, Canal+, Ciné+, Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC), Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), VOO, BE TV, Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral Belge, Casa Kafka Pictures Movie Tax Shelter Empowered by Belfius, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Alba Films, Splendid Film, Shudder
Director: Patrick Ridremont
Writer: Patrick Ridremont
Actors: Eugénie Derouand, Honorine Magnier, Clément Olivieri, Janis Abrikh, Cyril Garnier, Vladimir Perrin, Fabien Jegoudez, Jérôme Paquatte, Laura Presgurvic
Blurb from IMDb: Eva, an ex-dancer, is now living in a wheelchair, unable to walk. when her friend Sophie gives her an old wooden antique advent calendar before Christmas, she realizes each window contains a surprise that triggers repercussions in real life: some of them good, but most of them bad - Now Eva will have to choose between getting rid of the calendar or walking again - even if it causes death around her.

Selina’s Point of View:
I cannot express how happy I am that we’re not starting our ‘Tis the Season event with something from Hallmark or Lifetime. I’m prepared to watch the big city girl leave it all behind and learn the magic of Christmas from the plaid-clad farm-boy, but that doesn’t mean I’m looking forward to it.
Let’s be honest here. I’m not the biggest fan of French cinema. We’ve reviewed a few projects from France, and there haven’t been many of those that have spoken to me. There’s a cultural gap that I have trouble bridging. I don’t entirely understand what puts me off about them, but there is definitely something.
That’s not to say French movies are objectively bad. It’s a very personal choice. Cat tends to loves them. Unfortunately, she’s sick this week.
It says a lot that, despite my usual preferences, that I found this movie awesome.
I lost myself in it. Forgot that I was reading the subtitles, even. I did remember once in a while when something written appeared on screen, though. There were no translations for those bits and I had to pause to look them up. Every time that happened, I did get sucked out a little, but that’s more on Shudder than it is on the actual film.

The Advent Calendar mixes the truth or dare sub-genre with a dash of ‘be careful what you wish for’ and hands in something more unique than you’d expect. It even highlights some Christmas magic.
What I really enjoyed about The Advent Calendar was that it relied so little on jump-scares. After viewing the trailer, I was certain it was going to be revolving around your basic jump-scare tactics. Instead, it’s super tense. You go on this journey with the main character as she fights to fulfill a ton of orders from some mystical box, and it winds up working.
I need to add that there are some very triggering scenes. In a film like this you expect blood and sacrifice, but there are also more sensitive situations explored in relatively graphic ways. I do believe it works in the story, but not everyone will have the ability to sit through it.
If you’re looking for something to watch, and you are just as sick of the Hallmark/Lifetime holiday variety as I am, this is a wonderful start.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – 51%
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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