Short horror stories based around holiday events may not seem like the most exciting of premises as it instantly conjures up images of well trodden tales based around Christmas & Halloween. However this movie offers some nice variety with tales of terror based around lesser horror-covered holidays like Valentines Day, Father’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day.
The end result though is a bit of a mess.
A few are exceptionally good, even more are exceptionally bad & in between we have a number of disappointing so-so ones. It’s not unusual in anthologies to find gulfs in quality but here the gaps are just far too big.
The very first is based around Valentine’s Day. Maxine, a teenage girl is mercilessly bullied by a group of more popular girls. Maxine is a girl lacking in confidence & is clearly dealing with issues (she doesn’t speak a word throughout the short). She also has a huge crush on the classes swimming teacher who is awaiting a heart transplant.
He feels sorry for Maxine after hearing the others tease her so decides to cheer her up by writing her a Valentine’s card something that he will come to regret by the end.
Valentine’s Day is one of the best in this anthology right off the bat. Its story is heart-breaking as it deals with teenage isolation and infatuation. It’s impossible to not feel sorry for Maxine, who conveys all the difficulties of a teenager with some deep rooted psychological issues. Seriously…the acting is top stuff. Watch the moment where she reaches her limit with the teasing, her eyes and expressions…the only way she conveys her feelings throughout, is terrifying.
St. Patrick’s Day begins so well. A young teacher is offered her deepest wish by a very creepy looking student in her class (seriously, this little girl is the scariest thing in the entire anthology). After a wild night of partying she wakes up with no memory except that she went off with a ‘Danny Zuko’ type of guy.
A couple of weeks later & she’s pregnant, something she is overjoyed about…at least until she goes for her scan.
I was really into this short up until the final few minutes where it dissolves into utter stupidity. The story and acting were perfectly fine (if not exactly original) but the ending is so bad that it detracts from the whole experience.
It’s all downhill from this point unfortunately (at least for a while) as Easter tells the story of a little girl who catches the Easter Bunny in action. Let’s just say it’s not quite what you’d expect it to look like and while the make-up looked decent it’s hard to take it seriously as an effective scare.
It’s a brief story with a few moments that could chill if the payoff wasn’t so lacklustre.
Mother’s Day is possibly the worst of the bunch. A woman who can’t stop getting pregnant goes to a woman’s only retreat in the hope of curing her problem. Instantly isolated by the other women she quickly realises this isn’t the place for her (the other women are there because they can’t get pregnant) but leaving isn’t that easy.
A chore of a short with a story that makes little sense, the build is boring and the ending disappointing.
Things improve with Father’s Day where a young woman receives a mysterious cassette tape from her long-departed father. Listening to it she realises that what she knew about his disappearance has all been lies. On the instructions of her father on the tape she sets out to find the truth.
The story here is exciting and gripping and as the viewer you share her journey to discover the truth. Sadly the big reveal is incredibly underwhelming & leaves you wondering just what the hell was going on. Those hoping for an explanation after such a huge amount of build are going to be left very disappointed.
An internet sex camera business is the basis for Halloween & sees three employees extracting their revenge on their abusive boss. I really didn’t like this one mainly for just how absurd the whole premise is. The girls, having suffered too much of his abuse, knock him out then insert a dildo up his ass. They connect it to a car battery and proceed to torture him until they eventually get him to cut off his own penis.
It’s not very good and makes little sense if you consider the obvious fact that he could have just cut the wire connecting the dildo to the car battery.
Christmas tells a tale about a father who fails at getting his son this year’s new big thing, a pair of high-tech glasses that show you the inner workings of your mind. Desperate to not come up short he goes to great lengths to get the present but is then haunted by what he did whenever he uses them.
A decent story with a fun ending that sees a bad deed committed at Christmas actually work out well for someone. It’s a fun twist on guilt especially when it brings a family closer together!
The final short is an excellent finale. New Year’s Eve sees two people meet via the internet. He is a serial killer (something that is revealed in the opening moments) and she is his next victim.
Unfortunately for him though, she isn’t quite as normal as she first appears either.
What makes this short such a compelling watch are the pair of actors who have a lot of fun in their respective roles. The dinner scene is fantastic and the payoff at the end more then worthwhile.
As anthologies go this is one of the more exciting but far too many poor stories dog its overall quality. Worth checking out for Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve alone.
The Final Score - 4/10
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