Director Kevin Smith’s penchant for extreme, gross-out horror finds a new voice with Holidays (2016)
As much of a horror freak as I am, I almost didn’t make it through Kevin Smith’s intensely disturbing Tusk (2014) which starred Justin Long as an obnoxious podcaster who is kidnapped by the eccentric focus of his story, and brutally transformed into a walrus. It wasn’t even the disgusting parts that made this one hard to watch for me, it truly made me sad! Kidnapped and turned into a disgusting walrus? It was too much for me to handle.
That being said, I was both excited, and a little scared to add this one to my Netflix cue, but I’ll say now, I’m glad I did!
Holidays is a strange collection of twisted tales, each one centering around a beloved holiday and each one featuring their own writer/director. We begin with a bullied girl in love with her high school swimming coach…
Valentine’s Day – Kevin Kolsch (Starry Eyes, Absence) Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes, Absence)
I really enjoyed the lighting in this one. We start with this sterile, bright indoor swimming pool before we see the Carrie-esque scene above. The only thing that threw me off was the music. It was excellent, but the entire intro melody sounds like Harry Potter. It was super distracting for me, but somehow made the story more twisted.
St. Patrick’s Day – Gary Shore (Dracula Untold)
Stay away from creepy ginger kids in this tale, or else you could find yourself in the middle of an ancient pagan ritual, pregnant with a reptile. This one was particularly disturbing.
Easter – Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact, At The Devil’s Door)
Stay in your room this next Easter…you don’t want to run into the Easter Bunny. I loved this story! It was dripping with that childhood, lore-ish nostalgia I’ve been craving ever since digging into Netflix’s new, brilliant production, Stranger Things. It was one of my favorites by the end!
Mother’s Day – Ellen Reid (Music Department for The Sirens) Sarah Adina Smith (The Midnight Swim)
Seeking help for a strange condition in which she becomes pregnant every time she has sex, one woman ends up kidnapped by a desert cult and forced to bring her pregnancy to term. But what will she be giving birth to?
Father’s Day – Anthony Scott Burns (Lost Boy, Manifold)
A woman who lost her father at a young age receives a mysterious tape recorder of his voice, telling her where to find him, but what’s really waiting at the end of the directions?
It was the location and the creepy, old recorder that really made this one for me. It felt like a video game, but you were watching someone else “play.”
Halloween – Kevin Smith (Tusk, Yoga Hosers)
Three girls roped into a webcam porn scam stand up to the man of the house (played by Epic Meal Time’s Harley Morenstein). If you’re squeamish, be careful with this one. No matter who you are, you’ll feel his pain.
Christmas – Scott Stewart (Dark Skies, Legion)
Seth Green stars in this story about a man who would do the unthinkable to get his hands on the hot toy of the season. However, after accepting the fact that he is a monster, he discovers an even worse monster has been in his midst the entire time.
New Year’s Eve– Adam Egypt Mortimer (Some Kind Of Hate)
Two people go on a first date after meeting on an online dating site on New Year’s Eve. However, neither one knows just how much they have in common. Even though you’ll guess what’s happening pretty early on, this story will still surprise you making it the perfect ending to the crazy ride that was this movie!
Holidays is streaming now on Netflix. This collection of twisted stories is definitely worth the watch… just make sure you’ve got a strong stomach.