Friday, November 11, 2016

Holidays (2016)








DIRECTORS:


Kevin Smith
Gary Shore
Anthony Scott Burns
Kevin Kolsch
Adam Egypt Mortimer
Nicholas McCarthy
Ellen Reid
Sarah Adina Smith
Scott Stewart
Dennis Widmyer

WRITERS:


Kevin Smith

Gary Shore
Anthony Scott Burns
Kevin Kolsch
Nicholas McCarthy
Sarah Adina Smith
Scott Stewart
Dennis Widmyer

CAST:


Seth Green
Lorenza Izzo
Harley Quinn Smith
Jocelin Donahue
Ruth Bradley
Clare Grant
Aleska Palladino
Michael Gross
Andrew Bowen
Ashley Greene
Savannah Kennick
Sophie Traub
Madeleine Caghlan
Harley Morenstein
Shelby Kemper
Rick Peters

PLOT:

Holidays is an anthology movie that features eight horror inspired short films that are dedicated to some of the most celebrated and beloved holidays of the year. The story features segments that are devoted to Father's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas, Easter, St. Patricks Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween, and New Year's Eve and all eight short films contain a unique and twisted vision on the holidays we love and cherish.







I love myself a good anthology horror film. Over the last few years, we've seen the V/H/S and ABC's Of Death films add an entertaining and twisted new perspective into the anthology sub-genre of horror cinema. Ten directors have been brought in to add their own twisted perspectives on some of our most beloved holidays, and while some of the short films fall short, I found myself really enjoying this latest film Holidays.


Each short film will be given a paragraph and be reviewed from WORST To BEST:

FATHER'S DAY:


My least favourite short film comes in the form of Father's Day. Father's Day has all the makings of the perfect horror short. It's filled with an overall sense of dread and has a sombre tone. This also makes it the most depressing and slowest entry in the anthology. When compared to the other seven short films, it lacks the weirdness, the colourfulness, and violence of the other shorts. It actually feels sort of out of place. What the short does get right is a solid leading performance from Jocelin Donahue, and the short film is incredibly slick on a visual level.

MOTHER'S DAY:

Mother's Day is one of the weirdest entries in this anthology. It's not really complex regarding the story, but the coven of witches doing a ritual that will see our female protagonist give birth is one of the most fun payoffs in the entire film. The last few frames will leave people shocked. A solid moment that is entirely unexpected. The naked ritual dance also had me thoroughly creeped out. The short is very well shot and another solid performance from lead actress Sophie Traub.

EASTER:

I found Easter to be the most unsettling short film when it came to giving us a nasty monster. This Easter Bunny will go down in cinematic history as one of the creepiest rabbits ever put on film. This bunny looks like a mix of Gary Oldman's Mason Verger character from Hannibal and a half human, demonic rabbit. The short is dark, twisted and the metaphors around religion are incredibly well done. A very creepy short from beginning to end.

HALLOWEEN:

With Halloween, you can tell immediately that you're about to witness a Kevin Smith short film. Straight off the bat, we are dealing with overtly sexual themes, porn and a villain who is some fat slob talking about pussy. What this short does so well is that it turns everything on its head in its final minute and becomes a story of revenge and girl power. It's bloody and at times somewhat hilarious. All involved put in top-notch performances.

VALENTINE'S DAY:

Valentine's Day gives us our first short film in the movie itself and comes out of the gate with a retro looking and quirky story of obsession, bullying, and bloody revenge. The short also adds the taboo element of the obsession being based around a young teenage girl and her coach. The short is colourful, well-acted, and visually polished. The performances from Rick Peters, Madeleine Coghlan, and Savannah Kennick are fantastic. The payoff at the end is excellent.

NEW YEAR'S EVE:

New Year's Eve is one of my favourite shorts based on the simple fact that it is easily the most brutal and gory of the short films. It's build-up and twist is also very clever. Lorenza Izzo gives us the crazed performance to match her one in Knock, Knock and Andrew Bowen gives us one that is full of gross, stomach-churning accuracy. The last segment is also one of the most fun once the payoff is revealed. A great way to end Holidays.

CHRISTMAS:

There was an underrated horror film that came out in the nineties called Brainscan. It starred the once great Edward Furlong. It was about of a new game that when played would come true. Any murder committed in the game becomes real. Christmas feels very similar to that movie. What you watch in virtual reality shows who you really are and it includes murder. I loved Brainscan and enjoyed the hell out of Christmas. It's quirky and Seth Green and Clare Grant who play an onscreen couple as well as being married in real life fantastic in this short.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY:

My favourite short film is St. Patrick's Day. The short is the second that deals with pregnancy. This short is also the most utterly bizarre. The ending is what I'd expect from someone like Alejandro Jodorowsky with a touch of Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man. It's cultish and odd yet has a sense of real humour about it. The final scene needs to be seen to be believed. The lead performance from Ruth Bradley is also a standout in the anthology.

Finally, Father's Day is probably the only short film that I didn't really enjoy. But in saying that, I still found things that I enjoyed about it. The other seven short films all range from good to excellent. I think all short films used their themes rather well. The performances in each short film are solid with slick direction. I have to mention each short films segue into each new short was also pretty creative. I loved the use of the cards being opened with a little picture and message.







DEATH TOLL:
 6

BLOOD AND GORE:

- Someone is hit in the head with a brick.
- A girl has her heart removed.
- A woman gives birth to a snake.
- The creepiest mutated easter bunny ever.
- A full-grown arm emerges from a woman's uterus.
- Someone is smacked in the head with a toaster.
- Someone has a vibrator inserted into their anus and superglued shut.
- A man gives himself vaginoplasty.
- A guy has a heart attack.
- Death by electric meat carver.
- Someone is shot in the head.
- Jars full of eyeballs.
- Body parts are found in a bathtub.
- Foot sliced off with an axe.
- An axe to the head.

 





Holiday's is an extremely entertaining horror anthology. Out of the eight short films, I found myself enjoying seven of the eight segments. Even with the segment that I did not enjoy, I still found elements that I quite liked about the short. The segments all range from the strange to the creepy. The acting in each short is above average, and all the short films looked slick with a polished production. One of the more enjoyable anthology films to come out in recent years.


2 comments:

  1. Didnt enjoy many of the shorts in this movie at all. As you said I enjoyed ABCs of death more. VHS was also much better.

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    1. On further review, I enjoyed the anthology more the second time. I like it now more than ABC's of Death and the V/H/S series.

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