OK, Christmas Crapola fans, what is it that elevates the good cheesy Christmas movies from just plain old crapola? The Knight Before Christmas provides us with the simple answer. It’s acting which i really enjoyed watching. In terms of content and narrative, this Christmas film is no better than the likes of Santa Girl, but it is so much better and mostly cause of free download. A knight from 14th century Norwich, England, time (and distance) travels to 21st Century Ohio, USA to fulfil his quest, with predictable consequences. That’s it. However, producer Vanessa Hudgens uses a decent budget well, providing a lovely festive backdrop, an entertaining script and, crucially, actors that aren’t embarrassingly bad. You’ve got Hudgens herself (her off of High School Musical) who has previous for elevating Netflix Christmas Crapola having done it in last year’s The Princess Switch, and Josh Whitehouse from Poldark. Both can actually act and have plenty of that elusive, crucial quality needed in a Christmas film: charm. Seriously, how difficult is is for casting directors to find actors that can, you know, act? It makes ALL the difference.
Other plusses: The Englishisms (pronouncing Norwich correctly, saying Father Christmas and ‘Happy Christmas’) show that someone had a clue and an eye on the details, Vanessa Hudgens splashed a fair chunk of her budget on her wardrobe which will be of interest to some, and we have a handsome cast.
In a nutshell, The Knight Before Christmas is top notch Christmas Crapola. Christmas Cheese Rating: 10/10 Not a single opportunity to display Christmas lights, trees, wreaths, jumpers, baubles, candles, ribbons, wrapping, hot chocolate in red mugs, holly, etc. is wasted. The fairy lights budget must have been astronomical. Excellent work. Snow Rating: 8/10 Lots of snow, and it mostly looks legit, but there’s the odd scene that close inspection shows they were filming out of season and someone had to get handy with the fire extinguisher. But mostly it looks good. Actually Any Good Rating: Always remember that this mark is not given by measuring it against The Godfather and Schindler’s List, but by comparing it to other Christmas Crapola. Which means The Knight Before Christmas is comfortably 10/10.