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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tribeca Review of HOLIDAYS: Why is it So Hard to Make a Great Horror Anthology?

It doesn't matter how optimistic I am to watch them, horror anthologies are almost never good. You can cast a bunch of A-listers, bring in talent directors, but somehow they're still going to stink. But why? Why does it always feel like I'm watching a two-hour marathon of corny to horrible short horror films that have little to no significant connection? Why can't they ever be good?

I pondered this as I watched HOLIDAYS, a new horror anthology which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival (and was miraculously acquired for theatrical release by Vertical Entertainment). Related only by the fact that they are all set around a holiday (Mother's Day, St. Patrick's Day, etc), each film presents a promising premise yet falls apart before its ending credits (sometimes within the first two minutes). Whether it's the poor execution, as in the story of the woman who finds out she's pregnant with a creature baby, or the frustratingly false conclusion, as in the story of the young girl who learns that the Easter Bunny isn't as warm and fuzzy as she thought he'd be, each of them disappoints.

Some of the films could have actually worked better as standalone features (especially the one about a woman who's abducted by a fertility cult), though that would defeat the style and allure of the anthology. But if you don't connect the stories in a smart way (say, having the same actors play different roles in each story, or tying each narrative together with a single theme) or provide a great 10-15 minute story, what's the point?

Rating: D+ (** out of *****)

Watch the surprisingly great trailer:


Brittani Burnham said...

You're right about these films being hard to love at times. It reminds me of VHS. HATED the first one so much, but the 2nd actually ended up being pretty decent. For this one, maybe I'll wait for Netflix.

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