Review: The Knight Before Christmas
Made for and, presumably, by teenage girls that thoroughly believe their immature and oddly perverse fan fictions of being whisked away by a charming prince should be brought to life, The Knight Before Christmas feeds a concerning fantasy held by millions of Netflix subscribers. Finally, answering the question that is “What happens if Vanessa Hudgens didn’t quite get over the High School Musical hump?”, we see her alongside the rest of a cast featuring absolutely nobody of relevance struggle through the holiday Christmas period in this time travel, vomit inducing romantic Christmas caper.
Following the story of a knight transported to the modern day after offering an old woman a ride on his horse, The Knight Before Christmas is yet another piece of Netflix original content making up a certified avalanche of horrific content looking to sap my Christmas spirit away. Chance encounter after chance encounter plagues the running time of The Knight Before Christmas, a film which looks to bring together two completely unlikeable characters in the most contrived way possible. Throwing in just about every cliché you can in just the first twenty minutes alone (desperately lonely leading character sees ex-boyfriend, brief encounter with main love interest ends in comedic accident, the two grow fond of one another even though they’re both as likeable as sprouts dipped in Marmite), the film is quite dreadful.
Cole (Josh Whitehouse) is meant to be a charming idiot; a bumbling knight from the past that comes to terms with the modern workings of society. Instead he comes off as a fluffy British stereotype that does nothing short of annoy the audience for the entire time he’s on screen. He is eye candy for those that want it, but seems to have misplaced his brain considering every time he opens his mouth, he delivers his lines with all the bravado and boastful stylishness of a skunk wrapped in tinsel. Paired with the ever-grating mundanity of Hudgens, the gruesome pairing is enough to turn anyone into a Scrooge.
A director of not one but five Christmas and New Year themed films, all released in the past four years, Monika Mitchell seems to have found her niche. She crafts unlikeable characters in a picture perfect, middle-class American suburb (except for her work on Royal New Years Eve, which I assume is just the exact same formula but set in a palace, hot air balloon or wherever rich people live). Her work is the Christmas edition of Italian B-Movie directors, who could quite impressively churn out predictably squeamish horror films year after year. A Knight Before Christmas is no Cannibal Holocaust or Bloody Moon, but I assure you that trilogy of films is to be avoided at all costs.
If I had a choice between watching this on Christmas Day, or waking up to see that the roof of my house had caved in, I’d struggle to come to a concise and clear decision. The lowest rung of entertainment will always be the cheaply made cliché Christmas film, and The Knight Before Christmas is exactly that but for the new generation of moviegoers. Finally, rather than queuing round the block to see this drivel on the big screen, I can watch it from the comfort of my own home, swigging mulled wine while my laptop cries in agony, demanding I at the very least consider switching off this embarrassment of a Christmas piece.