Holidays (2016)

holidays poster 2016 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 5/10

Good concept

Dull anthology that should be fun

Movie Info

Movie Name: Holidays

Studio: ArtCastle

Genre(s): Horror/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  April 14, 2016 (Tribeca Film Festival)/April 22, 2016 (USA)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

holidays valentines day maxine madeleine coghlan

I wish the movie had more heart

The holidays are the happiest of days, but they can also be the darkest of days.  A dying teacher (Rick Peters) might get help from a student (Madeleine Coghlan) that loves him.  Dreaming of a child, a young woman (Ruth Bradley) might be given a gift by a strange girl (Isolt McCaffrey).  The difference between the Easter bunny and Jesus becomes merged.  A woman (Sophie Traub) finds being a mother is easy for her but keeping a baby could be killer.  A daughter (Jocelin Donahue) learns that the father that seemed to abandon her as a child might have had a reason.  An internet sex operator (Harley Morenstein) discovers the women in his “company” don’t appreciate his abuse.  A father (Seth Green) tries to get the hot new Christmas item, but it also is the steepest price he could pay.  New Year’s Eve is for couples, and a woman (Lorenza Izzo) and her date (Andrew Bowen) might be a match made in hell.

holidays jesus easter bunner

I’ll give the movie this, the Jesus Bunny is scary

Holidays is an anthology film featuring shorts by multiple directors.  “Valentine’s Day” (Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer), “St. Patrick’s Day” (Gary Shore), “Easter” (Nicholas McCarthy), “Mother’s Day” (Sarah Adina Smith), “Father’s Day” (Anthony Scott Burns), “Halloween” (Kevin Smith), “Christmas” (Scott Stewart), and “New Year’s Eve” (Adam Egypt Mortimer).  The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was later released for streaming.

Anthology horror films are generally a good thing.  Short stories are often more horrific because they get to the horror quick and often deal with things that are base fears.  Holidays has a bunch of talent, but not a lot of scares or fun.

holidays mother day demonic birth

Being a mother is hard

The film’s sequences are too long even though they are all shorts.  The most (understandably) are set-up with “gotcha” ending, but instead of being clever and thought out, you often find yourself wishing for the twist in the hopes the next one will be better.  The film is reminiscent of The ABCs of Death (which is better), but you also have faster turnover…and twenty-four chances for them to get it right.  Holidays doesn’t deliver many memorable segments.

The movie largely shies away from big name celebrities.  While this normally doesn’t affect much in horror movies, it might have given Holidays a bit of a Tales from the Crypt feel (which they might have been trying to avoid).  The movie still needed some sort of hook and having a decent size actor for each of the stories might have added some dimension to an otherwise bland anthology.

holidays new years eve lorenza izzo

Swing and a miss

The movie does look ok.  The individual directors seemed to have been allotted decent control over their stories.  I wish that each story had some more individual style or flare to them…mix in animation, black-and-white, or another very stylized visual.  It would have given something to add to the ho-hum stories.

Holidays isn’t really worth it.  A holiday themed horror movie should have been fun, and it should have been scary mixed with fun like Creepshow.  With Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez mocking some of these style movies in Grindhouse, I would have liked more over-the-top, throwback grindhouse style features for each holiday…Holidays just needs something to push it from ok to good…not even great.  As it turned out, it feels like a year wasted.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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