It’s Christmas! Or at least in 2021, we’re desperate enough for good news to want to kick of the late December holiday in mid-October. As if the immoral, cruel world that we live in wasn’t awful enough, it’s becoming beyond expensive to actually exist in it anymore, and that’s if you can avoid getting the killer viruses going around and passing them on to your loved ones…so Christmas is more of a focus than ever, for secular and non-secular audiences alike, and Christmas movies now seem to be popular the whole year round…
Erik Bloomquist seems to be living an interesting dual life creatively, switching between horror and romantic films. Ten Minutes to Midnight and Night at the Eagle Lodge are the scary ones, Weekenders and Christmas on the Carousel are the more tenderly inclined offerings. Bloomquist takes the lead here as Greyson, who has a thing for Sloane (Madeleine Dauer), and her decision to move away with her mother prompts Greyson to consider sharing his latent feelings with her. A catalyst comes in an opportunity to get together with friends and film a potentially viral Tik Tok video (very 2021) in and around a vintage carousel in a New England town….
I’m putting on my Santa hat and reaching out with some goodwill here; Christmas movies are a big deal, and yet big-budget all-star studio stuff is usually pretty awful (Surviving Christmas, Christmas with the Kranks, you know the kind of thing). But there’s something to be said for wholesome fare like Christmas on the Carousel; it’s simple, clean-cut drama that just about gets over the line and is infinitely preferable to the soppy, sentimental Last Christmas. The lack of any other people in the story suggests some post-apocalyptic world, and it’s tempting to see this as a lockdown movie; aside from planning a viral video, there’s little evidence here that there’s more than six people alive in this world, and that surreal quality actually works for the film as a chamber piece.
Bloomquist’s take on the familiar Hallmark model should satisfy his target audience, and 71 minutes is ideal for this kind of fluffy, lightweight story. Yes, Christmas on the Carousel is cheesy, route-one fare, but if you’re keen to unwrap your presents before they’re even under the tree, this will provide an early fix of heart-warming Christmas romance everyone seems to crave at this time of year.
Christmas on the Carousel is out on home streaming from Oct 19th 2021. Links below.