Each year Netflix puts out their fair share of Holiday Originals so here’s our quick take on what 2018 has to offer!
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
Synopsis: A year after helping Richard get to the throne, Amber is about to become his wife. But is she really made to be queen? (Netflix)
Starring: Rose McIver, Ben Lamb and Alice Krige
Writer: Nate Atkins
Director: John Schultz
Running Time: 92mins
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding is a dismal sequel that fails to rekindle any of the Christmas magic of the original Netflix-Hallmark Holiday hit. While the lead characters are somewhat charming, the change in cast and production paired with the terrible new characters, campy, nonexistent Christmas narrative and cringe-worthy dialogue make for an absurd and awkwardly put together mess. This film uses Netflix’s cheesy Lifetime movie mold, but gets stuck when it needs to expand the idea beyond one film.
The Christmas Chronicles
Synopsis: The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about. (Netflix)
Starring: Kurt Russell, Darby Camp and Jedah Lewis
Writer: Matt Lieberman
Director: Clay Kaytis
Running Time: 104mins
The Christmas Chronicles is an entertaining, all-ages Holiday adventure that may change your thoughts on the man in red. While the story is cliched and filled with cheesy Holiday moments, the colorful visuals, fun premise and excellent performances, capped by one of the most deeply complex portrayals of Santa Claus, make for a holly jolly good time. It is worth the watch on Kurt Russell alone.
The Holiday Calendar
Synopsis: A photographer inherits an antique Advent calendar that seems to predict her future — including a budding romance. (Netflix)
Starring: Kat Graham, Quincy Brown and Ethan Peck
Writers: Carrie Freedle and Amyn Kaderali
Director: Bradley Walsh
Running Time: 95mins
The Holiday Calendar is a predictable and plain family film that lacks anything Holiday-centric beyond its premise. While the concept has some unique ideas, the cheesy story is flat and derivative, the acting is sub-par and the film lacks the emotional, feel-good moment that a Christmas movie needs to be re-watchable let alone memorable. This film may not have a great execution, but it gives you everything you expect from a Hallmark holiday story making for a passable snowy day distraction.
The Princess Switch
Synopsis: One week before Christmas, a duchess switches places with an ordinary woman from Chicago, who looks exactly like her, and they each fall in love with each other’s beaus. (Netflix)
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio and Nick Sagar
Writer: Robin Bernheim
Director: Michael Rohl
Running Time: 102mins
The Princess Switch is a generic, Netflix-Christmas movie that finds itself lacking in holiday themes, but still brings that holiday spirit. While the story is unoriginal, predictable and filled with overacted performances and generic cinematography, none of this matters as its feel-good tone and cheesy story make for a heartwarming, enjoyable and relaxing time. This film is the perfect choice to put on for your kids during a snowy Sunday afternoon, but won’t do much for the older audiences.
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