Created by Adam Green
As horror fans we've all been there. We want nothing more than to be involved with the genre we love. Whether that means going to conventions to meet our favorite celebrities, collecting cool shit that we really can't afford, or setting out to make our own movies as a means to try and break in, there's only one thing that puts us on this insane path - passion. Adam Green and Joe Lynch's new show for FEARnet, "Holliston", is teeming with passion for not only the horror genre but also the people who love it.
The premise of "Holliston" is simple... Adam and Joe (played by Green and Lynch) run a local cable show called "The Movie Crypt." As you may have guessed, the duo are obsessed with horror movies and - despite their bickering - completely in love with each other (in the most manly of ways, of course). Their goal in life? To get their soccer-themed horror movie Shin Pads made and out to the public at large. "Holliston" is a very personal examination of the lives of these two characters from their rocky and sometimes failed romances and shitty day jobs to their resiliency to get things done no matter what the cost.
Let me be clear, though... if you're tuning in to watch a horror show filled with frights and scares, you're looking in the wrong place and will most likely come away incredibly disappointed. What we have here, kids, is a sitcom in every sense of the word, right down to the laugh track. Like with most situation comedies, things seem really awkward at first because you don't know any of the characters or their motivations. You go in blind, hoping that you can connect with these individuals. Once you learn the characters and spend a little time with them, said awkward feeling begins immediately transitioning into more of a wearing-a-comfy-sweater type feeling.
In the beginning the laugh track seemed way more distracting than anything else, but think about it... what is a sitcom without one? After a while, and some witty self-referential humor, you realize that the canned laughter is just playing along with the onscreen shenanigans. Almost like a soundtrack of sorts. Despite some rough spots, by Episode 3 "Holliston" hits its stride, and I was completely hooked. There are moments that are literally laugh-out-loud funny.
That being said, there's plenty for horror fans to dig on here from cleverly placed homages and celebrity cameos from some of the genre's biggest films to some insanely gross and inventive splatter effects that will have you shrieking and groaning until you end up nude inside your bathtub with the hot water running. It's that damned delightfully disgusting.
So far we've covered both the comedy and horror aspects of "Holliston", but there is a third piece which completes this puzzle. Amidst all of the sight gags, outrageous gross-outs, and WTF moments, there's a steadily beating heart behind the entire series. The relationships formed between Adam and Joe, along with their co-stars Corri English and Laura Ortiz, can be incredibly believable and sweet, thus making us care about this band of misfits from Holliston, Massachusetts, more than you might think possible. It's easy to relate to all four of these cats because, like I said, we've all been there, man. Through the laughs and the tears.
"Holliston" is a show with many layers. If it were on the air when I was growing up, I'm pretty sure I would have dropped everything I was doing to watch it. This is not your granddad's sitcom by any stretch of the imagination. Things don't always have a happy ending in Adam and Joe's world, and that's okay, too, because that's what happens in real life. It's all in how you deal with the disasters that come your way. Bravo to FEARnet for taking such a chance with this endeavor. It's a ballsy move on an equally as ballsy network.
4 out of 5