“In the final act of a slasher film, Bruce attempts to reclaim his manliness and impress the ‘final girl’ by finishing off the killer.”
Holiday Fear, a short film by BullMoose Pictures, was sent to me directly by Nicholas Santos, the writer, director, and producer. He’s a 29-year-old filmmaker based out of Brooklyn, NY, with roots in Cape Cod, MA. BullMoose Pictures specializes in documentary shorts and genre films, with 5+ of each displayed on their site. I LOVE short films and was psyched to give this one a shot and post my thoughts here. Plus it was filmed in Falmouth, MA, so it feels pretty awesome to see such a cool project that happens to be so close to home!
As Santos said in his director’s statement: “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.”
I thought it was a smart, fun poke at the genre. The two leads (Eric Whitten and Rebeca Robles) are strong, Robles in particular, and I’m impressed by how much I liked both of them as actors considering the film clocks in at just under 4 minutes total. It has hints of Halloween (the villain being pushed from an upstairs window) as well as John Carpenter in general (the music that plays as the satisfied couple walks through the woods is reminiscent for sure). Overall, a solid piece of work that makes me excited for Santos’s next in development project, It Cuts Deep. Give it a watch!