The advent calendar (Le calendrier)

The advent calendar (Le calendrier)
Running time:104 minutes
Director:Patrick Ridremont
Release date:01 december 2021
Eva (Eugénie Derouand, Paris Police 1900), an ex-dancer, is now using a wheelchair, unable to walk. When her friend Sophie (Honorine Magnier, Tomorrow is Ours) 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 are good, but most of them are bad, really bad. Now Eva will have to choose between getting rid of the calendar or walking again – even if it causes death and destruction to everyone she holds dear around her.

Mulder's Review

"I was developing a comedy with famous actors whose agendas were incompatible and I had the feeling that I was no longer doing my job by only coordinating schedules! (laughs) And I wanted to tell a story that I really liked for young actors, far from the star system and ready to go to the fire. It was in this context that the idea of making a genre film was born: today, every time I see The Calendar again, I have the impression that my actors have invented themselves into fictional characters. I love genre cinema because we are totally and clearly on the side of fiction: I like the "Once upon a time" dimension. " - Patrick Ridremont

We had to wait eight years after his first film Dead man talking (2012) to discover the second and especially his best to date from director Patrick Ridremont. While the American studios offer us, as they do every year at Christmas time, many films, TV movies and even episodes of series on the Christmas theme, whether comedies or fantastic films for the most part, there are nevertheless films that easily stand out from the others by a different and above all successful approach to this end of year period. Having recently discovered the equally successful The Nights Before Christmas, The Calendar reminds us of those great American genre films that seek to constantly surprise viewers and not rely on artificial plots and a hardly memorable cast only present to get themselves killed in every possible way.

Eva, a former dancer, now lives in a wheelchair following a serious car accident, unable to walk. When her friend Sophie gives her an antique wooden Advent calendar before Christmas that she stole in Germany, she realizes that every window contains a surprise that triggers repercussions in real life: some good, but most of them very bad and bordering on the supernatural - Eva will now have to choose between getting rid of the calendar or walking again - even if it causes death around her, including that of her father. The upcoming twists and turns will be numerous and will be perfectly brought about thanks to a perfectly mastered scenario paying homage not only to American genre films but also to certain video games such as Silent Hill.

In the current context, to propose a genre film in France is an exercise as perilous as it is dangerous, as the number of attempts to bring a horror film to life has proven to be practically impossible. It is therefore more in the DNA of French cinema to offer dramatic films, detective films, comedies or action films with a solid cast than to find the inspiration necessary to scare viewers and to be able to compete with American productions that not only have excellent special effects technicians at their disposal but also a comfortable budget to offer memorable and more or less original films.

Yet director and screenwriter Patrick Ridremont takes up the challenge and above all benefits from the presence of actress Eugénie Derouand who proves to be perfect in the role of this ex-dancer deprived of the use of her legs and who must face an advent calendar containing a demonic entity. The disquieting atmosphere creates a real emotional bond between the spectators and Eva whose courage will be under various tests.

Far from seeking simplicity and proposing an outrageous gore film, the scenario of the movie The Calendar succeeds in creating a real disturbing atmosphere in which this advent calendar will turn out to be a real curse for the one who inherits it. The plot will thus put young Eva in situations as dangerous as each other and see several people more or less close to her perish in a surprising way (we'll let you find out for yourself). The idea of putting a handicapped person in the foreground of this film also allows us to better understand the many difficulties and apprehensions that these people have to endure in a society that is not always ready to make life easier for them.

As cinemas in France have just reopened and many old films are showing again, we can only encourage you to discover this film which will skillfully startle you but above all will make you have a good time in a movie theater and above all forget this current pandemic which has not only changed forever our way of life but above all allowed us to understand the importance of discovering films in the cinema and not at home.

The calendar
Written and directed by Patrick Ridremont
Produced by Virginie Ogouz, Alain Benguigui
With Eugénie Derouand, Honorine Magnier, Janis Abrikh, Clément Olivieri
Music by Thomas Couzinier, Frédéric Kooshmanian
Cinematography: Danny Elsen
Editor: Thierry Delvigne
Production: Sombrero Films, Siddhi Films, Frakas Productions, Universal Pictures Vidéo, Alba Films, ZED, RTBF, Voo, Be TV
Distribution : Alba Films (France)
Release date: December 1, 2021 (France), December 2, 2021 (United States)
Running Time: 104 minutes

Viewed on December 3, 2020 (screener press)

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