I love me a good horror anthology and Holidays is one I actually hadn’t heard of until I found it while browsing through Netflix. It’s such a good idea for an anthology that I honestly can’t believe it hadn’t already been done. Each story is based around a different holiday (the movie moves chronologically through them) and each one is done by a different writer/director. It’s an idea with a lot of potential so I had high hopes. I should have considered that fact that I hadn’t heard of it at all until stumbling upon it accidently.
I’m going to have to devote a paragraph to each one of the short stories I think so strap in cuz this son of a bitch is about to get long!
Valentine’s Day – The story for this one is so slight that all I can really say without spoiling everything that happens is it’s about a girl in high school who has a crush on her swimming coach and is constantly bullied. I’m sure you can make some mental leaps on where the whole thing goes, but it would only take a few more words to summarize the whole thing. It definitely left me with a “that’s it?” feeling. It’s well shot, with an interesting color scheme and general look to it, but it’s very by the numbers and the bully is way too over the top, becoming a cartoon villain by the end. Not a great start to things.
St. Patrick’s Day – A creepy little ginger girl grants a teacher’s wish to become pregnant and then a whole lot of insane shit happens as a result. This one is certainly an odd tale. I do like it when a movie can show me something I’ve never seen before and this short story is definitely up to the task, containing some of the more balls-out on crazy images I’ve seen in a movie in a while. It’s a nice 180 from the predictable nature of the first story.
Easter – Ohhhhh man. Ok so a little girl is in bed, telling her mom about how she’s not terribly psyched about the Easter Bunny making its way into her house, but the thing she’s really scared of is the potential of a resurrected Jesus coming around. You…you seriously need to Google an image of what ends up in her house that night. It’s so gloriously nutty that I legitimately laughed out loud when it appeared. I’m not sure if that was the intent but wow. This is a good one. It flies by and it doesn’t give a fuuuuuck what you think about it.
Mother’s Day – I found this one to be rather dull. A girl who gets pregnant every time she has sex, no matter how many precautions are made, finds herself in a coven of barren witches. This one felt very slow and it’s all leading to a final shot that is effective but not worth the time you’ve spent getting there. After the bonkers nature of the last two stories, this one was a bummer.
Father’s Day – This story actually benefits from a slower pace. A woman who thought her father died when she was a little girl, receives a tape from him. She listens to it as he guides her to a certain spot where he says he will be waiting for her, all the while providing more detail as to where he may have gone in the first place. The decrepit locations where she has her journey help add to this increasing level of dread, the feeling only intensifying that hey, maybe she shouldn’t be doing this. The payoff isn’t terrific, but it’s still an effective little bit of storytelling.
Halloween – This segment is actually written and directed by Kevin Smith! I looked it up as soon as I realized one of the main actors very much looked like his daughter. It totally is! She plays a girl who gets naked on camera and lives in a loft with other girls who do the same thing and are overseen by this asshole pimp dude. A strange role to cast your daughter in but sure! It’s another incredibly straight-forward story, with the crux of it being that the girls turn the tables on the pimp guy in an appropriately fucked up Kevin Smith kind of way. It’s not scary, not funny and it has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween. It’s the holiday with the most potential and aside from a throwaway line, it barely plays a factor. This is definitely one of the weakest entries in the movie.
Christmas – Seth Green is a father who is desperately trying to get this VR headset type thing for his kid for Christmas. He does something kind of shitty in order to get a hold of it and now every time he looks in the headset he sees visions of the event, not to mention some other not so pleasant stuff. This one has a very Tales from the Crypt vibe to it, with the whole moral lesson angle and such. It’s a fun little story with an unexpected twist.
New Year’s – Eh. A couple goes on a blind date and you know the whole time one of them will turn out to be crazy. Then one of them does. A weak note to end the movie on.
Holidays had so much potential and it very rarely lives up to it. Out of the eight stories, I would say maybe 3 are good, and that’s the most enthusiasm I can muster for them. It’s rarely boring but rarely engaging, and it’s a bummer that this is the movie that used this premise.