Ridremont succeeds in crunching bones and raising hell, all with a seasonal waft of cloves and corpses from behind a wishgiver’s crooked smile. It’s chilling, teeters between moral stances and is a hellish-jolly greeting that should please horror fans in the mood for merriness gone malevolent.
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It is bizarre and dizzying and oddly beautiful in its fervor, as fantastical props and effects distract from the nonsensical plot. But this script also clumsily insists that its protagonist, a woman named Eva (Eugénie Derouand) who uses a wheelchair, is murderously obsessed with overcoming her disability.
Most viewers will find themselves wishing that writer/director Patrick Ridremont had come up with a few variations on this standard theme in order to liven up this competently executed but painfully familiar genre exercise.
The Advent Calendar is a creeper of a thriller. It stalks you, sidles up and immerses the viewer in its world and its mood. This Belgian film (in French and German with English subtitles) doesn’t deliver frights or shocks so much as it serves up shivers.