Quebec-made 'Papa est devenu un lutin' being called so bad it's good

Film critics can’t decide if the Christmas movie Papa est devenu un lutin, or, Dad became an elf, is an instant cult classic, or just rotten.

But some critics say it's just bad

The film is playing in Guzzo Cinemas and was made with a budget of $30K. (

Film critics can't decide if the Quebec-made Christmas movie Papa est devenu un lutin, or, Dad became an elf, is bad like a cult classic, or just rotten.

Its creators argue the movie is for kids, not critics.

Filmed in seven days, and on a budget of about $30,000, the French film was made by the West Island-based production company Silver Marble Productions.

It opened last Friday, and in the days since, has netted a 2.8 star rating out of 10 on The Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

Silver Marble Productions co-founder Dominic Ewenson said that doesn't matter because it's a big hit with kids.

"Kids only have positive things to say and that's the main goal," Ewenson said. "It's not the kind of movie that's meant to tell a profound story."

La Presse panned the movie, with reviewer Nathalie Petrowski calling it "downright rotten."

Meanwhile, Tabloïd, an online magazine, said the movie is so bad it's good.

It's playing in Guzzo Cinemas and the chain's CEO, Vincenzo Guzzo, said the movie is doing well.

He questions why it's getting critically reviewed.

"Let's be serious, I think we all have to ask ourselves what the relevance of her reviewing this is," he said of Petrowski.

With its highly cinematic opening — an aerial shot of the family's car driving on an empty road — the film sets itself up for a kind of grandeur that never pans out.

It's one of the reasons some are comparing it to The Room, the cult classic which has been called the Citizen Kane of bad movies.

Regardless of what the reviews think, Ewenson said he's proud of getting the film into cinemas, and that he's already getting dedicated fans asking when the DVD will be released. 

With files from CBC Montreal's Homerun


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