After receiving a strange letter from their father, four sisters reluctantly return to their childhood home, an apparent hotspot for gothic family controversy, and find him bed-ridden, on the verge of pushing up daisies. While their stepmother Elizabeth (Julie Harris of The Haunting) claims he’s just dying of old age, their father has a different story. He believes Elizabeth is slowly poisoning him to death and wants his daughters to “get rid of her” themselves instead of contacting the police. Although the girls seem to hate their stepmother, they’re quick to dismiss their father’s story as nothing but paranoia brought on by senility. But everything soon changes when a bad storm traps them inside and a killer starts trimming the family tree.
Get it? The family tree? Cause it takes place at Christmas? GET IT?
Oh man, I'm so lame. But anyway...
Predating all the well known holiday-themed slashers, Home For Holidays not only features an Oscar caliber cast, including a young Sally Field, but was even penned by Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stephano and produced by Aaron Spelling!!!
Need I say more? Probably not, but I'm gonna continue anyway.
Isn’t Christmas just the perfect time for horror? The extreme euphoria of it all somehow creates the opposite intended effect, making us feel fearful instead of joyful. But aside from the requisite Christmas tree and an eerily festive score, this home doesn’t exactly express the holiday spirit, which was quite disappointing. We even have to settle for rain instead of snow. And while thunder and lightning are always great bedfellows to horror, it just seems a bit odd for a Christmas movie.
Home For The Holidays may not be ideal for some slasher fans, lacking the proper atmosphere, gore and nudity, but with Aaron Spelling drenched intrigue and the Flying Nun, who gives a crap what it lacks? This hidden gem is surely worth seeking out.