Christmas horror movies are the few, the proud, and often iconic, genre films that get an annual repeat viewing during the holiday season for obvious reason.
Traditions are built around them from horror fans and even at their peak campiness, they seem to never fail to get you right in the mood while all the normies are watching Love Actually and Die Hard.
Among the fray of your multiple Hollywood Santa-based terrors and snowy slashers, the amount of foreign Christmas horrors is sadly few and far between, even though the ones that do exist have historically knocked it out of the park.
Cult hits like Rare Exports (2010) and Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) are on most die-hard horror fans’ must-watch lists for their sheer weirdness and originality, as well as, providing some spirited performances by relatively unknown actors.
This year, horror streaming service Shudder dropped an under-the-radar holiday masterpiece that not only nailed the niche corner of the genre but additionally managed to be a standout as one of the year’s best movies in general.
The Advent Calendar (2021)
A demonic advent calendar terrorizing a paraplegic woman living in Brussels is just the sort of chaotic original horror that we all needed to close 2021, and boy did this one ever deliver even more insanely than advertised.
It starts with all the makings of a slow-burn style film reminiscent of an A24 or Neon Rated produced horror, but unlike our typical art-house movie, there is no lull just there to impress the modern genre audience with visually stunning shots.
Instead, Patrick Ridremont’s sophomore feature manages to blend multiple subgenres into one by giving fans elements of a demonic terror, supernatural jump scares, gruesome kills, and a jarring original premise without there being any overcrowding in the tightly woven story.
Ridremont’s well-crafted tale was carried heavily by the stunning lead performance of Eugénie Derouand, who throughout the movie seemed to have possibly the worst month of December ever imaginable despite the number of highs that the character seemed to receive.
Which, overall, made this the perfect pandemic Christmas movie as it did manage to point out what to be thankful for as well as hammered home the whole “be careful what you wish for” message which all of us seldom forgot.
It is also worth mentioning that Derouand’s subtle, yet brilliant, performance made for an exceptionally nice touch that additionally made it stand out among the other holiday horrors which are often overacted due to the bombastic nature of Hollywood-style dark Christmas films.
Among the other traditional movies you may have picked up as a lifelong horror fan, The Advent Calendar more than earns its spot and has a mysterious nature that makes for *great viewing with family on Christmas morning…
*Results may vary for non-horror fans.