One of my favorite short films out of Telluride Horror Show was Nicholas Santos' Holiday Fear, perhaps an unsurprising preference since Christmas horror is among my top 3 horror subgenres of all time. And Holiday Fear is a really excellent entry in that most hallowed category.
Santos (guys, his name is Nicholas Santos. He was born to make a Christmas movie) said of making the film:
The film was shot in Falmouth, MA, in January of 2017 in 10 degree weather.
As a kid, my friends and I had movie marathons every weekend, renting every movie from the local Blockbuster’s horror section. Holiday Fear picks up at the very end of a typical slasher movie, where the killer is seemingly dead, but wakes up with a vengeance just as the heroes think they are safe. The film takes on what it means to be a man in a relationship, while poking fun at the genre that I love.
With Holiday Fear, I wanted to pay tribute to the strong female characters that slasher films of the late '70s and early '80s created. These movies are often remembered as sexist, but they’re also responsible for creating the archetype of the “final girl.” The “final girl” archetype has its problems -- she is almost always a beautiful, white, young, straight virgin, who is spared by the killer precisely because she represents this misogynist ideal. But the “final girls” can also be appreciated as resilient, feminist renegades, who have successfully infiltrated male-dominated horror genres for decades. My protagonist embodies the “final girl” while crudely challenging the antagonist’s (and viewers’) concept of masculinity.
Moving forward, I want to examine these ideas further in a feature titled It Cuts Deep, which is currently in development. The film is loosely based off the theme, tone and style of Holiday Fear.
Scroll down for a few great behind-the-scenes shots and the poster for Holiday Fear. And be sure to share the short this Blackest of Fridays!