Holistay: Review

Branna (Erin Gavin) and Finn (Gavin O’Fearraigh) are a couple looking to get away from it all for the weekend. They’ve booked a place in San Diego and coming from Ireland, they’re a long way from home and looking forward to relaxing. Tony (Steve Martini) and Gia (Gabriela Kulaif) are also a couple, looking to get away from it all when they run into Branna and Finn.

As it turns out, they’ve both booked the same place for the weekend and after a phone call they decide to stay overnight until the confusion can be sorted. However, staying in the house won’t be that easy as they start to hear and see strange things during the night.

Holistay is a supernatural horror movie about two very different couples. One couple being from Ireland and the other being from the US, they’re worlds apart in terms of culture.

However, once they start talking then they start to realise they have more in common than they thought, even if Tony and Gia are still hiding something.

That seems to be the trouble with Holistay too, it wants to be a supernatural horror, but there are too many things holding it back from going in the full horror direction that audiences may expect. The mystery behind Tony and Gia’s activities is revealed and a more accomplished director may be able to pace the movie better.

Instead, Holistay feels like a much longer movie than it is and doesn’t know how to tell its story or punctuate the moments of drama and social commentary in order to be affective. This leaves a lot of the time for the characters to talk to each other and where the dread of something supernatural could be slowly increased, here it feels barely apparent.

This means that there is an unfortunate balance between the story elements and the horror, something which may bore its audience as the characters talk about something that mostly happened off screen. Holistay wants to be a welcome break from the usual horror tropes, but by barely acknowledging them it may make its audience want to leave.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.


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