THE CALENDAR, dishonest and forgettable – Review

The French-speaking genre is on the rise and currently carries many hopes. With LE CALENDRIER, a Franco-Belgian production, we hoped for an exciting horrific entertainment. We come out very sadly disappointed.

Patrick Ridremont is not a bad filmmaker. He has repeatedly shown to be capable of the best, especially in Dead man talking in 2012 or in The station in 2017. And he offers a nice sample of his staging abilities in THE CALENDAR. The few great finds are also focused on the wheelchair of her heroine, a quadriplegic. Here is. That’s about all that saves this footage from a complete failure and spares a plug on Nanarland. Moreover, it is a bland horror film, without any stake, which one forgets as soon as consumed.

Credit: Alba Films

Still, it promised to at least be entertaining. On paper, it looked like a ghost train high concept American style. Like a Happy birthdead, Truth or Dare, and even Chucky’s Bride. A pitch what the fuck which holds in two lines and stretched over more than an hour. To have fun honestly without shouting genius either. Because we must admit that the idea of ​​a haunted Advent calendar is more likely to smile than to shiver with terror. However, the film takes itself too seriously. Or never manages to make us understand its irony. And therein lies its main problem.

The development of the characters sins in particular by too much superficiality. None of them seem endearing to us. All of them are the most stupid and filthy caricature. The nympho girlfriend, the ugly boss not handsome, the blonde from the office … Even the heroine is characterized only by her chair and by her bitterness. Whether or not she gets away with it, we don’t care. That she starts walking again does not bring us any satisfaction either, since the miracle is filmed as a non-event. Just as the corpses that accumulate around her only inspire us with indifference.

Photo from the film THE CALENDAR
Credit: Alba Films

Moreover, all the dazzling staging is spoiled by the fantastic forays. The monster locked up in the Advent calendar is neither frightening nor believable. From a dated visual borrowed from Germanic folklore, – already seen and reviewed a hundred times since the episode Hush of Buffy the vampire slayer – it comes with equally inexpensive visual effects. In particular, during the assassination of love interest of heroin, bordering on ridicule. All the more disappointing as this is the climax of the movie. Most of the other executions take place off-screen, without any palpable tension.

Finally, in his last shift, THE CALENDAR reveals to us all the aberration of his scenario. We actually discover that all the adventures will have, in reality, no impact on the reality of the protagonists. It is almost dishonest. Especially since the film made every effort to convince us that the characters concerned had only harvested what they deserved. THE CALENDAR therefore turns out to be as futile as its ending. He shows no talent, nor any love for fear. Does nothing but exploit clichés of what he believes to be characteristic of a horror film… Very sad in this Francophonie of the genre, where treasures are sometimes born. Or, as a reminder, a Palme d’Or.

Lily nelson


Original title : The calendar
Production : Patrick Ridremont
Scenario: Patrick Ridremont
Main actors : Eugénie Derouand, Honorine Magnier, Clément Olivieri
Release date : December 1, 2021
Duration : 1h44min

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THE CALENDAR, dishonest and forgettable – Review