HOLIDAYS is an anthology feature film that puts a uniquely dark and original spin on some of the most iconic and beloved holidays of all time. The film challenges our folklore, traditions and assumptions, making HOLIDAYS a celebration of the horror on those same special days' year after year. A collaboration of some of Hollywood's most distinct voices, the directors include Kevin Smith (Tusk), Gary Shore (Dracula Untold), Scott Stewart (Dark Skies), Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes), Sarah Adina Smith (The Midnight Swim), Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact), Adam Egypt Mortimer (Some Kind of Hate), and Anthony Scott Burns (Darknet).Written by
I'm so happy that you came. Daddy loves you so much, Carol. I'm so proud of you. If you have come and you have found me, then you are here. You're finally here in this room of your own free will. Oh, Carol, that means that you and I can be together again... Together.
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'Holidays' opens up with the Valentine's Day sequence, that gives almost immediate odes to De Palma with it's high school-heartbreak atmosphere. To make a short story shorter, the plot revolves around a misunderstood and exiled young girl would happens to have a crush on the school's swimming coach. After getting word that he may have eyes for her fair-haired nemesis, she retaliates through violence. This one does border on creepy as the feelings between Maxi ("Maxi Pad") and her teacher are somewhat mutual. But life is like a box of chocolate.. or hearts. By the time you see the credits, the tone does seem comfortably familiar. From the director of Starry Eyes. (5/10)
The next segment surrounds Irish myth & folklore on St.. Patrick's Day. While I do have a clover tattoo and I love the color green, this was not one of my favorites. Plot follows an elementary school teachers who has just received a reserved new student. Ginger-hair, freckled and somewhat adorable, the young girl does not seem to integrate well and quickly upsizes the teacher with rude dismissals and eery glares. We are soon given hint that the teacher longs for a child and eventually becomes pregnant after a night out drinking. The young girl becomes eerily fond of the teacher as if she knows something she doesn't know. They reference Polanski in this one, but it's no demon she's carrying, something a lot more scaly. This one was brought to us by Gary Shore, director of Wicker Man. (5.5/10)
Easter is never really looked upon with much horror, much like the preceding holiday St. Patty's. However, director Nicholas McCarthy ("At The Devil's Door") manages to hint at a surreal dimension filled with unseen terrors that leaves you thirsting for more. The Easter installment opens up with a young girl being put to bed by her mother. They have a somewhat intense and offbeat dialogue about the iconic Easter Bunny and how no child has ever seen him, or should. The same young girl happens out of her bed that night and stumbles upon something only seen in nightmares. Kudos to the FX team and any behind the visual the bunny, an image that'll stick with you for sure. Peter Cottontail meets Pan's Labyrinth. (8/10)
Mother's Day...... a lot can and will be said about this one for sure. This sequence put me to sleep and woke me in the same damn sittnig, stressful. The overall downside to a lot of the shorts is they feel just too short. This is not the case here, in this indie desert horror from "Midnight Swim" directer Sarah Adina Smith. The concept is basically a young girl becomes pregnant every single time she has sex. She feels she is medically ailed or cursed. After seeing doctor after doctor, she is referred to a retreat house in the desert somewhere. This place is filled more with woman who are having opposite issues with fertility and she again, feels slighted. Somewhere in this drawn out entry, I dozed off and came to in time for an OUTRAGEOUS finale. It woke me up, revitalized me enough to rewind and rewatch. All I can say is geeeeeeeeeeez. And what was that in the sky? A devil? An angel? (6/10)
Like in real life, Mother's Day is followed by Father's Day; without a doubt the most gripping entry in the production. They must have strategically placed it after the previous snooze fest, besides that ending of course, to regain viewers attention. I immediately appreciated the dark, deep tone of the setting. We are introduced to a young woman who comes home to a package at her doorstep. She opens it to find an old cassette tape player with a double sided tape inside, headphones included. She decided to play the tape, of course, and is jarringly met by the voice of her late father. The tape contains not only her the voice of her dead father, but it is looped with her's a young girl as they took a trip somewhere one day. She is quickly overwhelmed, rejects the tapes, regains herself and continues. Basically, her father disappeared years and years ago without a word or trace. She never got an explanation as to why. Until now. She continues to play the tape is led into an eerily-orchestrated scavenger hunt to find the truth about her father's disappearance and perhaps be reunited. This a truly beautiful built piece and again, is only hurt by the fact that so much can and needs to be said. The ending, IMO, does not live up to the build-up but I accept it for what it in this short and it does not take away from it's genius. Shoutout to Anthony Scott Burns, Happy Father's Day. (9.5/10)
Halloween - omitting review due to word count (4/10)
I had to go look up what this segment was about again, which sounds bad, but once I did I was pleased to remember. I liked this very odd and campy thriller about a man who goes to extreme lengths obtains a Christmas gift for his "dear wife". We all know how the latest gadgets get people in a frenzy, well the product in mentioned is called the "UVU".. and "UVU shows you, YOU". It does indeed, Our characters are forced to look at themselves and the ones closets to them in an entirely new lights and brings a whole new meaning to it 'what lies beneath'. Also, great cameo from Seth Green. Nice to see that guy. (7/10)
New Year's Eve was thoroughly enjoyable IMO and very unexpected. I'm not even gonna talk too much about it because it's best the end things off with a bang. Just know that two loners wind up on a date New Year's Eve and it's a countdown you will not forget. (8/10)
Overall, I'd give this anthology around a 6.5/10.
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