When it was announced that Kevin Smith would be taking part in a horror anthology, I knew right away it wouldn’t be your typical anthology. Smith’s foray into the macabre has been quite interesting (and quite good) so I was pretty anxious to see what he and his fellow filmmakers were going to come up with. HOLIDAYS is the fruit of their labor and the final product is ‘good’. It’s most certainly a mixed bag with some segments working better than others, then again that’s usually the case with these types of films.
The concept of HOLIDAYS is quite simple, the filmmakers have chosen several different holidays, as innocent as some may be, and put a dark, twisted spin on each one. The stories vary in length and are told using each director’s signature style. While there are many new faces and young actors taking the spotlight, several veterans and familiar faces appear in some capacity as well. Each segment is a self contained story with the only link being the holiday theme. There’s no wrap around story tying them together, just the theme.
The first couple of stories (“Valentine’s Day” and “St. Patrick’s Day”) didn’t really connect with me. It wasn’t until the “Easter” segment that the film began to catch my attention. After that really cool tale, things go south once again with “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day”. The premise was there but I feel the stories suffered and felt rushed to fit in with the rest. My favorite tale in the film centered around “Christmas” and stars Seth Green. A solid mix of both humor and horror. The Kevin Smith directed “Halloween” tale was pretty brutal but it was signature Smith, fucked up and funny. The final tale revolving around “New Year’s Eve” is a cat and mouse like tale (more like TOM AND JERRY) starring the lovely Lorenza Izzo and thankfully it had nothing to do with Eli Roth.
One thing for sure, there’s some great effects work scattered throughout the picture. A couple of gnarly deaths and some great creature make-up delivers for those who need their gore fix. I would most certainly call HOLIDAYS a success, even though it underwhelms at times, there’s much to savor and if one story doesn’t work for you, maybe the next one will. It’s a different film and all the directors (Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, Gary Shore, Nicholas McCarthy, Anthony Scott Burns, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, Kevin Smith, and Adam Egypt Mortimer) should be commended for stepping outside their comfort zones and trying to do something original.