Holiday Hell picks up as young woman Amelia (Meagan Karimi-Naser) enters an antiques shop, looking for the perfect Christmas gift for her sister. The Shopkeeper (Jeffrey Combs) agrees to stay late to help Amelia find something. In an attempt to sell her on items such as a doll mask or a bloody Santa Claus suit, The Shopkeeper tells Amelia the haunting story behind a select few pieces in his possession, hoping she’ll be swayed by one of the terrifying tales.
Holiday Hell is primarily composed of four short films that detail the history behind four items. i have to say i quite enjoyed watching the movie. Each one is directed by a different filmmaker and provides a spin on a classic horror trope (possessed doll, creepy cult, etc.). What helps the individual segments stand apart is their content. For instance, “Christmas Carnage” chronicles a businessman’s (Joel Murray) descent into insanity and “Hand That Rocks the Dreidel” covers a rather special Hanukkah present for a small boy (Forrest Campbell). In terms of technical filmmaking, however, the episodes don’t truly feel like the product of four different voices, as they all follow a pretty basic formula to free download. This prevents Holiday Hell from coming across as a unique blend of talents. Fortunately, that means there are no jarring tonal shifts across the complete picture, but the vignettes sadly become predictable. Savvy viewers will probably be able to see the trajectory of the shorts minutes after they start.