An advent calendar begins on the first Sunday of the Advent Season and ends on December 24th. In the film, a paraplegic woman, Eva Roussel, receives an antique advent calendar as a gift on her birthday, December 3rd. The supernatural structure made of wood resembles the board of Jumanji and has different small doors, each marked with a date until December 24th. These doors can only be unlocked on the date marked on them. As Eva opens these doors and eats the special candy inside them, she starts experiencing supernatural horrors that change her life completely. Will she be able to bear the pain and agony till December 24th, or will she give in?
Written and directed by Patrick Ridremont, The Advent Calendar (or Le Calendrier in French) stars Eugénie Derouand in the lead role. Her spellbinding performance captivates the viewer’s attention as she pulls off the excellent narrative gracefully. Let’s unravel the complex thriller further and decode its baffling end.
‘The Advent Calendar’ Plot Summary
Eva Rouseel (Eugénie Derouand) is an ex-dancer who suffered a spinal cord injury years ago in a tragic car accident that caused permanent leg paralysis. She lives alone with her pet dog, Marvin, and works for an insurance firm, Antonic Assurances. Eva’s father is an Alzheimer’s patient and lives in their family house with Eva’s cruel stepmother, Agnes.
The film begins on December 3rd, Eva’s birthday. A melancholic Eva spends a pretty mundane birthday with no wishes from friends or family. Before midnight, her best friend, Sophie, arrives from Berlin and surprises her. She brings a wooden Advent calendar for Eva that she stole from a Munich Xmas Mart. The wooden cabinet has small doors with a surprise inside them for each day until Christmas. It also has a grim warning engraved on its back that says, “Dump it, and I’ll kill you.”
The small doors inside the calendar contain supernatural candies with a rule written on their wrappers. If she eats one, then she will have to eat them all, or the supernatural creature will kill her. Eva quickly eats up the chocolate, and it binds her soul with the beast inside the calendar. Inside one of the doors, Eva finds her father’s favorite chocolate, and as soon as she eats it, her father suddenly calls Eva on a disconnected phone. Eva starts trusting its magical powers and believes that if she opens all the doors, the magical creature will grant her the ability to use her legs again. But like all dark magical rituals, it demands sacrifice. Is Eva ready to commit?
Major Spoilers Ahead
What horrors did the calendar bring in Eva’s life?
The dark magic bound Eva’s soul with the wooden Advent Calendar, and thus, she became both slave and master to the creature inside it. On December 5th, a trader, Boris, tried to harass Eva and the cursed magic protected her. It took revenge on Boris and killed him by brutally crushing his car. In the next door, Eva found a magical love candy that helped her to enchant a young nurse, William, and made him fall in love with her.
The horrors of magic continued as it took revenge on Eva’s boss, John Antonich, who fired Eva from the job. Eva finally understood the function of dark magic through all of these murders, as stated in one of the rules: “To cure hurt, destroy what hurt you.”
At regular intervals, the calendar presented a “Jesus” shaped candy that sent a sensation to Eva’s paralyzed legs. She believed she would be able to walk again and thus continued the pursuit of opening the door each midnight. She gave candy to her father, who was temporarily cured of his Alzheimer’s, and told Eva that her calendar would require sacrifice. Others would have to die and pay the price if Eva wanted to walk again. And if Eva refused to sacrifice her family, friends, or strangers, the monster would kill her.
Eva’s new boyfriend, William, tried to save Eva from the horror and dumped the calendar in the river. But, soon after, the creature arose from hell and mercilessly murdered William. A helpless Eva couldn’t do much but watch as people around her died because of her selfish choices.
Did Eva walk again?
As mentioned in the rules, Eva needed to hurt what hurt her to cure her legs. A brief flashback sequence established that Eva suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a car accident. On that day, it was Sophie who had been driving the car, and while on the road, Sophie got busy with her mobile phone, which probably caused the accident. In simple words, Sophie was the reason behind Eva’s leg paralysis, and hence she needed to hurt her best friend to cure herself.
The monster did the job for Eva and savagely murdered Sophie and her boyfriend. After a massive bloodbath, it presented the final “Jesus” candy on the 21st, which magically gave her the power to walk again. In short, the creature compelled disabled Eva to arise and walk again.
Who was Aloïs Hoffman?
Like the Jumanji board, the cursed Advent Calendar had been around for a long time. Each year, a person would find the wooden box during the Advent season and probably unlock the doors. Before Eva, the calendar belonged to a German painter, Aloïs Hoffman, who lived with his family in Berlin.
Eva found a gory painting inside the wooden box, a warning message from its previous owner to the next one. She couldn’t decipher the intricate painting and hence paid a visit to Aloïs Hoffman. Eva found a blind Aloïs in the house who told her that he had been blind for five years and couldn’t have painted it. At Eva’s insistence, Aloïs touched the painting that suddenly reminded him of the horrors that he committed last year under the spell of dark magic.
Perhaps Aloïs was a painter who lost his eyes in an accident, much like Eva lost sensation in her legs. Hence, the dark magic lured him in with the promise of a vision or the ability to paint again. But every good thing comes with evil and demands a gruesome sacrifice in return. According to the painting, Aloïs killed his wife and son last year to save his life from the creature. But, in the present time, both his wife and child were still alive. Thus, it could be surmised that the horrors of the calendar are reversed once the person opens the last door, i.e., the one marked with December 24th.
Was the Magic Permanent or Temporary?
For a brief moment, Eva felt remorseful for killing her dog and her best friend, Sophie. But she felt relieved when she discovered the truth that they would be brought back to life. As soon as Eva would open the last door on December 24th, the time would roll back to December 1st. From thereon, Eva didn’t hesitate to kill more. She brutally murdered Ms. Lemaire and her stepmother, Agnes. Eva even shot her father in the head and prepared herself for Christmas Eve.
Eva earned considerable money from the “My Trader Online” app. She knew that the money would vanish as the magic would end and hence decided to spend it away. Eva rented a royal suite at James Leon Palace and invited a handsome hunk, Antoine, to enjoy the last night of the magical trip.
Minutes before midnight, Eva took the magical calendar to the terrace and recorded a message for the next user. She informed the future user that they should obey the calendar’s rules or the deaths caused due to it will be permanent.
‘The Advent Calendar’ Ending, Explained
As soon as Eva opened the last door, she found a magical candy that would return things back to normal and reverse the deaths of the lost ones. However, before she could eat the last candy, Antoine ran to the terrace and enlightened Eva that the rules demanded loyalty only until the last door was opened. Hence, she didn’t need to eat the last candy and could enjoy her new body/new life till her death.
But in the illusion of magic, Eva murdered her best friend, her dog, and her father. She couldn’t enjoy her new life with so many burdens weighing her down. Eva looked at the last candy and screamed in agony. Before she could decide her fate, the film faded out to black.
A year later, a man with a young baby in his arm knocked on Eva’s door. He was holding Eva’s phone, on which she had recorded the warning. Hence, it could be perceived that Eva probably tasted the last candy on that day. She lost her ability to walk and became captive to a wheelchair once more. But it was all an illusion, to begin with, and she couldn’t have afforded the death of so many innocent souls just for her selfish motives. Hence, Eva did make the right decision in the end.
The Advent Calendar is a 2021 Horror thriller film written and directed by Patrick Ridremont.