Movies TV & Streaming Interviews Docs Shorts Trailers News Careers Contact
Menu

The Advent Calendar

Follow The Rules

29th November 2021

The Belgian film The Advent Calendar (Le Calendrier) is a horror/thriller that sees former dancer, now paraplegic, Eva Rousell, Eugénie Derouand (“Paris Police 1900 (TV)”, “Lucky”), enduring 20-something days of hell from an evil Advent Calendar.

Admittedly that description doesn’t make the film sound good, but that’s my bad, because The Advent Calendar is good. The premise isn’t so far from the likes of 2002’s The Ring, except it may not be you that dies from The Advent Calendar.

Eva is down on her luck: injured in a car accident when her best friend Sophie, Honorine Magnier (“Research Unit (TV)”, “Camping 3”), was driving, her job is crap, her boss John, Jérôme Paquatte (“District B13”, “Place des Victoires”), doesn’t like her and her father, Jean-François Garreaud (“Nina (TV)”, “Mongeville (TV)”), has Alzheimers.

Come the third of December, her birthday, her friend Sophie arrives from Germany with a large, wooden advent calendar for her. There are some carvings on it, in German, which say: “The miracle of Christmas” and “Dump it and I’ll Kill You”. Eva asks who “I” is, but Sophie doesn’t know.

Upon opening the first door, Eva is faced with some rules written on the chocolate wrapper, in German, so Sophie translates: “Rule 1: The Calendar contains candy. If you eat one, eat them all. Or I’ll kill you. Rule 2: Respect all rules until you open the last door. Or I’ll kill you. Rule 3: Dump it and I’ll kill you.”

Each time Eva opens a door and takes what’s inside, something strange happens. When she eats an After Eight, her father’s favourite, he calls her. If she gives the mint to him he suddenly becomes lucid and talks to her, including about The Advent Calendar.

If she eats the sweets with Jesus’s picture on them, her legs appear to get better, she can feel, she can walk! But each door is also giving “Le Pantin”, played by Fabien Jegoudez (“Achoura”, “City of Lost Love”), strength, a sort of man, but not one you’d want to meet, well, at any time.

But much more sinister sweets and objects are inside, akin to voodoo dolls that have dire consequences for those on the receiving end. Eva’s father, in one of his lucid moments, says that this is the price she’ll have to pay if she wants to walk again, some will have to die.

The Calendar meanwhile doesn’t let up. At midnight it chimes until she opens it, and if she doesn’t do what it wants her to do “Le Pantin” appears and makes her. By day 18 Eva is a mess, all sorts of people around her are gone and her every waking minute is taken up with the Calendar.

One night Eva finds a painting in the top part of the calendar, with name and address on it. She rushes over to meet the man and asks him about the painting he did ‘last year’. He informs her that’s impossible as he’s been blind for five years.

When she’s at the end, when Eva thinks it’s all over, she’s reminded of the rules, what she’s seen and realises it’s not all over, she now has a choice, the biggest choice of all…

The Advent Calendar is a fun film, written and directed by Patrick Ridremont (“The Station (Short)”, “Dead Man Talking”). It’s full of twists and turns and I can see how it would make you question what you’d do in the same circumstances.

It’s a great performance from Eugénie Derouand, the way she subtly reacts to the looks people give her in her chair, to the change in her when she’s manic over what’s happening around her, to her.

The Advent Calendar is perhaps more thriller than horror, but there’s more than enough of both to keep either camp happy. Follow the rules, and you’ll be just fine.

DETAILS

   

RELEASE DATE
2nd December 2021

DIRECTED BY
Patrick Ridremont

WRITTEN BY
Patrick Ridremont

Running Time:
1h 44m

THE QUICK SELL
Eva's friend gives her an old wooden advent calendar before Christmas, & she realizes each window contains a surprise that triggers repercussions in real life.

CAST & CREW
Clément Olivieri, Eugénie Derouand, Fabien Jegoudez, Honorine Magnier, Jean-François Garreaud, Jérôme Paquatte, Patrick Ridremont

DETAILS

   

RELEASE DATE
2nd December 2021

DIRECTED BY
Patrick Ridremont

WRITTEN BY
Patrick Ridremont

Running Time:
1h 44m

THE QUICK SELL
Eva's friend gives her an old wooden advent calendar before Christmas, & she realizes each window contains a surprise that triggers repercussions in real life.

CAST & CREW
Clément Olivieri, Eugénie Derouand, Fabien Jegoudez, Honorine Magnier, Jean-François Garreaud, Jérôme Paquatte, Patrick Ridremont

Your Opinion: