The Advent Calendar debuts on Shuddertoday, a French Christmas horror film about a paraplegic named Eva (Eugénie Derouand) who receives the fanciest advent calendar of all time from her friend. The rules are simple: Eat all the candy in the calendar, or you'll die, follow all of the calendar's instructions, or you'll die, don't throw away the calendar, or you'll die. As the film progresses, we see these all in action, as we count down to Christmas and Eva's obsession with getting out of her chair consuming her.
The Advent Calendar Features Amazing Effects
Right off the bat, the advent calendar itself is a wow. The intricate design and little elements that the design team put into it are astonishing. They would make a fortune selling these to horror fans cause this is destined to be a foreign horror classic, like Let The Right One In or The Devil's Backbone. Shudder will get the eyes on it, that is for sure. Those comparisons are not made lightly, but that is the level we are dealing with here. Director Patrick Ridremont, who also wrote the film, does an excellent job pacing the violence and building the tension so much that you squirm in your seat. That is the best kind of modern horror, the type that makes you uncomfortable. Bucket upon bucket of blood is spilled, but not ever in a way that takes you out of the film.
It would be remiss not to also mention that while Derouand does a great job in the lead role, the script is a bit problematic with how it handles how she is treated for being in the chair, and it is worth noting as well that she is a non-disabled person. We need to try and do better for disabled people in not just horror but film in general, and it is easy to see how some might take issue with this film for those reasons.
That being said, this film was an enjoyable watch and something different for sure. The Advent Calendar succeeds in following its own three rules, and when it is working, it will send your horror heart soaring into the holiday season.
The Advent Calendar is now streaming on Shudder.