31 days of horror movies: Ring in the holiday season with The Advent Calendar

Eugénie Derouand as Eva - The Advent Calendar - Photo Credit: JEAN-CLAUDE LOTHER/Shudder
Eugénie Derouand as Eva - The Advent Calendar - Photo Credit: JEAN-CLAUDE LOTHER/Shudder /

As we finish out the month of October, let’s look to the next two holidays, and horror films we can watch to celebrate them. I have already written about Hulu’s violent, insane Pilgrim, which I highly recommend for Thanksgiving viewing, but what to watch in anticipation of Christmas? May I submit to you The Advent Calendar, which is streaming on Shudder.

An Advent Calendar is sweet by its very nature, right? I mean, it is, after all loaded with candy and other treats. But, in the very nasty little French horror film The Advent Calendar, these treats come at a very high price.

It’s December 3, and Eva is spending her birthday alone and sad, accompanied only by her dog. Once a dancer, Eva was paralyzed in a car accident three years earlier, and contributing to her depression is the fact that her father is suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s, and lives with her stepmother, who is hateful and cruel.

When Eva’s free-spirited friend Sophie unexpectedly pops in, Eve’s mood lightens, especially since Sophie has come bearing a gift: a large, very intricate Advent Calendar. Before allowing Eva to dig into the Advent Calendar, Sophie reads a list of rules out loud, and each individual rule ends with the phrase “…or I will kill you.” The most important rule seems to be that if you eat one treat, you must eat them all

The Advent Calendar
– The Advent Calendar – Photo Credit: JEAN-CLAUDE LOTHER/Shudder /

At midnight each night, an ugly, frightening little figure called Ich pops out like an evil Jack-in-the-Box and says, “Midnight is here, open the door.” I don’t think it would be possible to get a good night’s sleep with Ich hanging out in the room.

The first couple of treats Eva pops in her mouth bring some great surprises. She lucks into some unexpected cash, a guy she has a crush on seems to develop an interest in her, and her father makes a very lucid phone call to her. This is great, right? Not really…after all, this is a horror movie. A few of the treats result in injury and death to people around her, mostly those who have wronged her in some way.

Then Eva eats a candy that gives her a glimpse of what her life would be like if the Advent Calendar restored the use of her legs, and now she has a decision to make. Does she push forward, continuing to eat the candies, despite the pain and suffering it causes the other people in her life, or will she sacrifice herself instead?

The Advent Calendar offers us some bitter treats

If you have watched any French horror films, you know how dark they can get, and The Advent Calendar is definitely not an exception to the rule, consider yourself warned. Also, I know a lot of horror fans don’t enjoy subtitles, so you should know that this is subtitled. You may be able to watch a dubbed version, but I don’t know how that works, and I watched it with the subtitles.

In closing, I hope you have enjoyed our 31 Days of Horror Movies recommendations. On behalf of myself and the contributors for 1428 Elm, Happy Halloween!

Next. 31 days of horror movies: Shudder's Blood Quantum. dark

Which films have you most enjoyed from our 31 days of horror movies series? Let us know in the comments section.