Movie Review: Holidays (2016)

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Holidays is a 2016 horror anthology wherein each segment is set on or inspired by a different holiday — Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Each short film is directed by a different director (Kevin Smith, director of the Halloween segment, arguably the most well known), and each entry ranges from black humour, to mystery, to straight forward horror.

+ the opening short, Valentine’s Day was one of my favourites and tells of a teen girl with a crush on her swimming coach who is bullied by her peers. This was a good opening, as it managed to tell a good (or bad? it is a horror movie…) story without running too long
+ more traditional horror, Easter was surprisingly good, and is the story of a young girl who is awake in the middle of the night as the Easter Bunny delivers her treats. There was some interesting symbolism and design choices here
+ Father’s Day is a slow burning mystery, told almost entirely through a voice over as a man tells his daughter why he abandoned her years earlier. Admittedly, this segment does have a sub-par ending, but the entire build up is intensely engrossing
+ the penultimate segment, Christmas was directed by Scott Stewart (2013’s Dark Skies) has Seth Green star as a man who gets a new virtual reality headset for his son, but is disturbed by the things it shows him. This was the most interesting of the bunch and certainly something I’d like to have seen more of
+ New Year’s Eve was the final segment of the film, and was a cliched but entertaining way to finish off the film. It was not particularly anything special, but still enjoyable

– as the immediate follow up to Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day is the perfect example for not knowing when to end things. This could have cut a few minutes from the middle and not petered out like it did. A strong start eventually fell flat, as well as some laughable CGI
Mother’s Day was, to be blunt, just boring. A very interesting premise is used as the catalyst for conflict, rather than the conflict itself and ends just as things would otherwise get interesting
– directed by Kevin Smith, Halloween was the weakest of the bunch. It tells of a group of three women who join a man’s webcam-girl business, but want to go out on Halloween night instead. Something about it just didn’t resonate with me at all (and no, certainly not the horrid subject matter)
– it was strange to not have any overarching narrative, such as in V/H/S or Trick ‘r’ Treat (two personal favourites). I’m not sure why one was not used, but I think it may have helped, especially the three weaker entries, to have some sort of buffer between stories

Should you see this film: Overall, a ratio of 5:3 would usually be grounds for me to recommend this, but in this case I can’t. Aside from Christmas, and maybe Valentine’s Day, even the better segments are not enough for me to suggest wasting your time.

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