Christmas horror movie is a doozy


The Advent Calendar (The Calendar) is a name-only holiday horror film. It happens around Christmas, and there is obviously the titular object, but there is not much else to suggest that this is the most wonderful time of the year. Eva is a former dancer who can no longer walk. When her friend Sophie gives her a pre-Christmas advent calendar, it becomes the answer to her greatest hope. It is also the gateway to unspeakable evil.

If this sounds like an episode of The twilight zone, this is because there are a lot of similarities. Chief among them is the “be careful what you wish” motif that runs throughout. Advent calendar. There are also deaths that are straight from an anthology TV series, including one involving a stupid and violent dog.


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Which does not mean Advent calendar is like a down payment stretched from Tales from the Crypt. He’s able to weave different kinds of horror into his twisted plot. For starters, the film delves much deeper into its main character than a thirty-minute TV show would allow. While there is too much time spent dancing around what Eva really desires, there is a glimpse of her.

As things darken and the number of bodies increases, it becomes clearer that Eva wants to be “normal.” This can be seen from the first moments and is at the center of almost all interactions in Advent calendar. There are characters who despise her (one particularly obnoxious person calls her a “half-stroller”), but no one is harder on Eva than they are on herself.

This leads to an interesting character who is filled with pity and loathing. She is quick to point out what she feels unable to do and feels that she has no hope of a love life. That does not prevent him from having a job and from swimming, however. Eva seems to have let go of some aspects of her life while pushing forward in others. It’s a strange mixture that Advent calendar constantly teasing to develop further. It never happens as much as the movie would like, but what is provided works.

As interesting as Eva may be, there are a few missteps in Advent calendar. The film does a good job of defining what the rules of the film will be. What helps are the elegant ways the film provides dates. Since such a clear job is to set the rules, it becomes obvious when they are not followed. It spoils some of the fun. Lots of subplots have been introduced and none of them are resolved.

On another side, Advent calendar is perfectly paced. Everything takes place over a few weeks and although some days go by faster than others, it seems like nothing is ever hidden. (Considering the premise, there’s an odd lack of suspense, though.) There are some fantastic scares and things never get boring. Even when things slow down to develop characters – always a risk in horror movies – it never impacts the story.

The Christmas season seems to offer as many horror films as Halloween. It is certainly also difficult to find any that will become a regular part of vacation viewing. The ending tries to be too smart and there’s the nagging question of how Eva can know so much, but Advent calendar is a good Christmas horror movie.

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