As is generally the case for an anthology film, Holidays is something of a mixed bag, touching all bases between effectively chillsome and downright irritating. There is no wraparound to link these eight shorts; other than each centring itself on a holiday event, the goal is open. The majority miss.
Kevin Smith is the biggest calling card here, his segment, “Halloween”, instantly recognisable for its slacker feel. Some gross-out humour delivers just deserts for the almighty arsehole owner of a cam girl business, but still, it feels a throwaway gesture from the director. Others flirt with good ideas, calling to mind Carrie and Rosemary’s Baby along the way, but the results are generally frustrating, falling victim to a clear sense of control of the stories.
Strongest by far are “Father’s Day” from Anthony Scott Burns (one of only two filmmakers of the list to not hold a feature under his belt) and “New Year’s Eve” from Adam Egypt Mortimer (Some Kind of Hate, review here) and Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes, review here). The former is instantly suspenseful, a long-lost father directing his via tape recording daughter to share his own fate, while the latter refreshingly turns a serial killer yarn on its head via amusing, socially awkward characters. For these alone, Holidays is worth a purchase.
Harley Quinn Smith
Anthony Scott Burns
Adam Egypt Mortimer
Sarah Adina Smith
10 October 2016