After enduring the hot amazing mess that was The Holiday Calendar just for your (okay fine, and my) enjoyment for this review right HERE, I settled in last night to watch my next bad Christmas movie on Netflix, entitled The Spirit of Christmas.
I was drawn to this movie because of the synopsis, which told me:
As Christmas approaches, attorney Kate Jordan travels to Vermont to oversee the sale of an inn, where she falls for a handsome yet cursed ghost.
A handsome. Yet cursed. GHOST. It’s like I wrote this synopsis in a fever dream. I love all of this. So I cracked open a bottle of Pinot Grigio – yes, it was a Monday but also this is work okay so lay off me! – and settled in to watch this excellent film unfold.
The movie opens with a hot old-timey man (Thomas Beaudoin) lost in the snow and just like that, I’m invested. I don’t care what happens next. Hell, I even considered not watching the movie at all and purely reviewing it based on this cute bearded man in the coat, but I wouldn’t do that to you guys. I’m a proper journo.
THEN, someone straight up murders the bloke and those that know me would know this means I’m even more invested. If there’s two things I love, it’s hot guys and murder. If there’s three things I love, it’s hot guys, murder and Christmas. This film is like my own special Venn diagram.
And now our heroine Kate (Jen Lilley), a sassy auburn-haired girl with wide eyes, is getting dumped and eating bread and she literally doesn’t care that this man with no chin doesn’t want to date her anymore. Guys, she’s a high-powered busy attorney and has NO TIME FOR LOVE. But I’ve seen enough bad Christmas movies to know this lady is going to discover the meaning of a) love b) Christmas or c) all of the above by the end of this 90 minute film.
Her boss gives her some job to go sort out the settling of an estate somewhere in a small country town. She’s up for a promotion, so since she’s very ambitious she must get onto settling the Hollygrove Inn estate immediately. But her boss hints that the house maybe haunted, which of course she does not believe because she’s an extremely sensible high powered ambitious attorney.
She arrives at the house only to find the appraiser man nope-ing the fuck out of there, obviously because the joint is very haunted and he fears for his life. As Kate approaches she only seems a bit scared but she goes right inside, to which I am now screaming at my TV NO KATE DON’T.
She picks up a photo and it is none other than Hot Murdered Bloke from the start of the movie. She’s startled by an older innkeeper man (Robert Walsh) with a Sad Energy, so clearly he’s going to shed some light on the ghost, who it turns out is named Daniel Jacob Forsythe and he once owned the Inn. As someone with a working knowledge of ghosts I can tell he’s not a vengeful spirit but just has a deep and protective attachment to the property and thats why he’s scaring all the appraisers off. Also the innkeeper explains that the Inn is closed every year for 12 days before Christmas Eve so he’s getting the hell outta there.
Kate is so sceptical of ghosts that she defiantly decides to stay the night since apparently there are zero other places to stay in this town. Even Sad Energy Inn Owner is like byeeeeee and leaves her there to be murdered / seduced by the spirit of Daniel Jacob Forsythe.
At a certain time all the clocks start chiming and then the ghost lets himself into the house, even turning off the alarm. Gone is all the zest of this movie and now i’m just remembering the resolute horror of true crime book I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. Is this Daniel or is it the Golden State Killer, I don’t know.
Kate creeps around the house using a nail file for protection and the Hot Ghost appears behind her, saying “you’re trespassing”. Immediately she jumps and knocks a heavy vase onto her own head, passing out. She wakes up to hear Hot Ghost playing the piano. He tells her to leave and when she refuses he carries her out of the house and locks her out.
Okay so in all my experiences with ghosts, which is 100% just from watching the tv show Supernatural, they’re never solid beings that can pick up women and toss them into the snow, so I’m not really sure what’s going on here.
She calls the sheriff who finds no ghost and then after he leaves the Hot Ghost is IN HER BEDROOM which is extremely sex pesty to me. Even though he explains he has no wish to harm her, he just wants his solitude (which is pretty relatable tbh), he doesn’t have to be such a creep about it? The sheriff also doesn’t believe her which is extremely not cool too.
Side note: the Sad Energy Innkeeper man, whose name is Walter, has such a theme-y Xmas flanno on, I really enjoy people who dress for the festive occasion.
Anyway, Kate basically mimics my sentiments, pointing out that this chap can’t be a ghost because he’s a solid human hunk (yes I meant that double entendre) of flesh, and then he calls her out on only knowing about supernatural things from the movies. I feel Seen. Then him and Walter patiently explain that he’s not a ghost between Dec 13 and 24, because he’s been cursed. She, being a smart independent successful attorney, doesn’t believe him. So he he takes her out into the snow and then shows her how he can actually just disappear into thin air.
Can I just point out that he looks like this before he does it:
Please come and haunt me immediately Hot Ghost, DM me for my address.
Kate decides she wants to help Hot Ghost figure out what this curse is and how to fix it. He explains that his cousin Harry (Brett Leigh) tried to help him and it didn’t work, so could she kindly fuck off and leave him alone.
Can I just point out he looks like this as he says it:
Side note: as someone who has seen Beauty and The Beast many times I think we all know that the way to break the curse is that he falls in love with Kate and becomes a human again. Yes I may have figured out the plotline, but I’m still here for this whole thing. Just making an observation.
So as he’s recalling the events of the night he died, Hot Ghost reveals he was a bootlegger, and he died on the way back from being a dero up in Canada smuggling rum. Someone conked him over the head outside the inn as he was returning home from Montreal and he was found dead in the woods, but he’s never figured out who did it.
We go back in time when Hot Ghost was a Hot Mortal, and he meets a sassy blonde lady (Kati Salowsky) at the inn who he comes onto immediately.
Can I just point out he looks like this when he does it:
Turns out Lily, the blonde chick, got cosy with his brother Charles, which we saw at the start just before he got whacked over the bonce and died.
Anyway back in present time Hot Ghost asks Kate what her husband thinks of her hanging out at the Inn playing paranormal investigator and she has to explain that we live in a post-feminist world where high powered busy attorneys gunning for a promotion don’t necessarily have to be married or have a boyfriend.
Back in olden day times Hot Mortal gets accosted by his brother who is angry about the dodgy Montreal dealings and then they have a bit of a fight about Lily, with Hot Mortal pointing out that Charles clearly wants to bone her. Meanwhile back in the present day, Kate is scared about some weird opening doors and draughts and it becomes clear there might be another ghost in the house.
Kate then walks into Hot Ghost’s room and can I point out that when it happens he looks like this:
Then there was a whole boring bit I didn’t pay huge attention to, but it seems Kate is in trouble from her boss from not having the property appraised yet. Which means HER PROMOTION IS IN JEOPARDY but she hasn’t helped the Hot Ghost break his curse yet so she’s in a tough spot.
Then some lady from the neighbourhood who is gossipy as fuck tells a zesty story abut Lily marrying Charles just a month after Hot Mortal’s death but she was pregnant and the kid came too soon to be Charles’, so everyone knew it it wasn’t his. But then she died after childbirth, in the house (she is 100% the second ghost, calling it now). Then Hot Ghost and Kate have a big fight about the gossiping and he tells her he wants her out of the house.
Then the next day the Other Ghost confronts her and I’m convinced it’s Lily trying to fuck her off because she doesn’t want her to bone the Hot Ghost. The Other Ghost appears as a hooded figure whispering “GO AWAY” in a demonic and I’m actually genuinely scared.
Then the Hot Ghost comes in to save her and they run outside and he says he wants her to stay after all and can I just add that he looks like this while saying it:
The pair start trimming the tree and he says he hasn’t had a real Christmas in 95 years and also there’s something else he hasn’t had in 95 years and I’m thinking Kate’s gonna give it to him, if you get my drift here. Then he tells her she “has a wonderful capacity for love” which is a weird pickup line but okay. Then he hangs the angel on the tree and can I just add he looks like this doing it:
Then they hold hands and the next scene is him insisting on WATCHING HER SLEEP to protect her from the Other Ghost, and do I think this is hot or is it a bit Golden State Killer, I’m not sure.
The next day Kate helps Hot Ghost – ugh i feel bad for objectifying him, DANIEL – is recounting the last night of his life and Daniel remembers that he was hit from behind which he has never remembered before.
But then Kate’s boss calls and demands she returns to Boston and that fkn promotion is sure as shit on the line here. So she has to leave and of course Daniel is sad and of course I’m going to add that this is what he looked like while being sad:
Back in Boston, and Kate hears that the appraiser (who Daniel called over to the Inn himself) has finally done the walkthrough of the property and it’s time to sell. She must do it in seven days which means she’ll be too busy to go back to the Inn, and of course her boss throws in the promotion word too. He also chucks in a pass-agg “priorities, Kate” which of course makes her think… what ARE my priorities? Working for this boring law firm or boning the Hot Ghost, sorry, Daniel? I know what I’d be doing, just quietly.
Of course she goes back to the Inn (because priorities) and can I just add that this is what Daniel looks like when he sees her:
Side note: As much as I am here for this weird ghost romance I am also – as I was in my Holiday Calendar movie review – concerned that this woman has quit her job at a very expensive time of the year and seems to be unbothered by this?
Anyway, Kate has done some digging and shows Daniel that Lily only married Charles because she was preganté so Daniel gets all emotional that she didn’t betray him after all.
Then some stuff happens with a dance and blah blah bored but LOOK AT HIM FOR FUCK’S SAKE:
I swear if these two don’t bone soon I’m going to throw my half-empty bottle of Pinot Grigio at the TV. But Kate isn’t going to get any ghost dick with that side ponytail, I’m sorry to say.
She regifts him his watch back and he’s so overcome with emotion that he finally pashes her which is great for all the horny mortals watching.
Also another stress thought from me, but why isn’t she worried that he’s just gonna disappear right when they’re kissing again? Maybe she too has seen Beauty and the Beast 650,000 times and realises that in The Spirit Of Christmas, she too is going to break the curse.
At the dance, Daniel has some weird hallucination of Lily and Charles and goes back in time (?) to see all the events from 95 years ago unfolding. Turns out Charles was a shithead badmouthing him to Lily who actually had faith that he’d come home. Then Daniel figures out that his own cousin Harry was actually the one who killed him and that he’s the second ghost.
Turns out Harry killed him because Daniel got out of the rum smuggling game and the bad man who ran the whole thing thought he’d tell the cops. Anyway, then Lily appears too and how many fricken ghosts are in this place?
Daniel tells Harry he forgives him for coldly killing him and leaving him for dead on Xmas Eve 95 years ago. He sends Harry on his way and then Kate is confused that Daniel hasn’t moved on to his next spirit plane or whatever. Then she declares that she loves him and she doesn’t mind that she only will only see him for 12 days a year. It’s almost midnight and Daniel is like “doll I gotta disappear now” and she’s all like “I’ll wait for you” and then weirdly she passes out and then Lily appears and tries to take him away to the spirit plane because he is free now.
The next day Kate gets a call from her dickhead boss and it turns out the nice innkeeper Walter (who in a subplot has hooked up with the gossiping lady from earlier in this review) has decided to buy the inn, yay.
Kate goes to say her goodbyes to the place and OF COURSE Daniel is still there hanging about in the forest and I’m just going to go ahead and add that he looks like this:
The curse seems to be broken and he’s randomly just a human young man again even though he was murdered 95 years ago, but who cares about the details? There’s a romantic bit where she goes to run to him and I needed to GIF it so you could laugh as much as I did:
Anyway he’s like “doll I somehow figured it out so I could stay longer” and my logistical brain is still like… is he 125 years old or what. But then The Spirit Of Christmas ends and none of the science is explained but that’s okay because Kate now believes in a) love b) Christmas and c) ghosts and thats all we can really ask for, right?
If you love ghosts and mysteries are are left frustratingly unsolved, you’ll probably love the podcast I co-host, All Aussie Mystery Hour. Subscribe on iTunes HERE, or on Spotify HERE. Or, you can just listen / download below.