Movie Review: Holidays

This weekend was perfect for a little movie watching with the weather in south Louisiana not allowing much to be done outdoors. And after finishing off the second season of Daredevil on Netflix, I watched Holidays, an anthology horror/comedy film put together by nine directors. These nine directors made eight short segments based around some of the most popular holidays.

I won’t get into all of the segments in detail, but the holidays covered were Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. The best part about the segments was that most did not follow the usual route and have a story deeply rooted in the holiday. Most, instead, just crafted a story that happened to take place on the holiday. And, just like with most anthologies, there were some hits and misses with me.

My favorites were Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Kevin Kolsch & Dennis Widmyer directed the Valentine’s Day segment and it focused on a girl’s swim team and their coach. One of the girls is constantly bullied and has a crush on her coach. But it is a crush that she will stop at nothing to try to make a reality.

Easter, directed by Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact) is about a young girl, confused about the Easter bunny and the resurrected Jesus, accidentally meeting the bunny at night. Kevin Smith (Tusk) directed the Halloween segment. It focuses on a guy recruiting girls to work for his online camera porn venture. But the girls already there that he mistreats have other plans for him.

 The Christmas segment, directed by Scott Stewart (Dark Skies), stars Seth Green and Clare Grant as a couple who get a new toy that shows you your imagination for their son. But, after he gets the toy in a shady way, he is haunted by the visions. But he is not the only one with hidden secrets. And finally, Adam Egypt Mortimer directs the New Year’s segment about a couple meeting each other online for the holiday. However, each have a hidden agenda that will only be known as the clock hits midnight.

The other three segments were not completely terrible, they just were not my favorites. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were unique stories that I thought were good considering the holidays are not used a lot in movies. I actually liked the pacing and mystic of the Father’s Day segment a lot, but it wasn’t a favorite. That only leaves the St. Patrick’s Day segment, which was the only one that I did not care for too much. It was good, but I was lost and didn’t make much sense of it.

But, with most anthology films, that is always the case. There are usually segments I love and think would make a great film in its own right. And there are some that either just fit an anthology or I just do not like. That is part of that filmmaking. It is putting a lot of different views and directions together to make a piece for everyone to enjoy. And while Holidays may not appeal to a mass audience, horror fans who liked The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, or Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye are sure to find some enjoyment with this film.

Daryl Karpinski, Jr.