The Horror Honeys: The Relationship Version of a Holiday Horror Film

The Relationship Version of a Holiday Horror Film

A Slasher Honey Real Life Fears Holiday Horror Review by Chassity

The Family Stone (2005)

I think I’ve made it pretty clear by this point that when it comes to “scary,”  the more realistic, the better. And as a horror fan who’s seen almost everything, it’s easy to get very jaded and desensitized. When that happens, it’s sometimes nice to go and find the horror in things that are completely outside the horror genre. 

There is really no timing more perfect for this exercise than the holidays, because the holidays generally mean “family,” and let’s face it; there is really nothing scarier than family. Especially the idea of meeting someone else’s family. For the first time. During a holiday vacation. 
I present to you, horror pumpkins, the family from hell, and I ain’t talking about Leatherface and the Sawyers. 

No, I’m talking about the Stones, as in the movie The Family Stone

Oh, sure, this seems like your average, stereotypically feel-good holiday film, but that’s just on the surface. Under the surface, this is a movie about the most annoying, dysfunctional, borderline sociopathic family I’ve ever seen in a holiday film, and an annoying, horrifyingly robotic girlfriend to boot. 
Putting the AW in awkward.
When I was younger, Chucky dolls, clowns, and Ghostface scared me. But now? Falling in love with a man and going home with him for the holidays, only to discover his family is… well, anything like this one? That crap is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Basically, The Family Stone is a horrible family of horrible people being absolutely horrible to the girlfriend of one of the sons. Lots of drama follows, until they magically all start to get along at the end because, yeah, that’s how things work out in real life... 

The mother: A shrill, shrieking, raging bitch who is completely unlikable. And then it’s revealed that she is very, very ill. Because that makes it all okay. I say, she’s the kind of mother that would give even Mrs. Vorhees pause and make her say, “Hey, lady? You might want to chill out a little bit.” 

The father: Well, he seems okay, but he lets his kids call him by his first name. and that’s creepy enough for me. I’ve seen this movie a bunch of times, and every time I keep expecting him to turn into creepy pedophile guy or something. He at least has to be somewhat off for marrying Diane Keaton’s character, and for even tolerating his absolutely dreadful family. 

Deck the halls with stereotypes
The brothers: One is okay, but the other, Ben, is a creepy weirdo guy in at least his mid-30s who goes around acting like a horny frat boy half the time, and that one weird hippie who’s…thinks he’s just liberal and carefree but is really freaking everybody out. Not only is he generally sketchy, but he spends the entire film hitting on his brother’s girlfriend in a roundabout, truly disturbing way. The only thing that isn’t completely horrifying about Ben is that he is played by Luke Wilson, who is, let’s face, generally adorable and nice to look at. 

The sisters: The oldest sister, Suzanne, is the only sane one in the bunch, and that’s not saying much of anything. But she spends the whole movie pining for this mysterious husband who everyone else barely mentions, to the point that you could almost wonder if he even really exists, and that’s a whole other horror movie plot in itself. And then there’s the younger sister, played by Rachel Mcadams, who is a completely narcissistic, whiny sociopath, spending the entire movie trying to make everyone else as miserable as she is. It is absolutely mind boggling that any of the other characters could resist punching her in the face. 

The girlfriend: And speaking of characters you want to punch in the face, none takes that prize more than Sarah Jessica Parker’s Meredith. Aside from the generic, one dimensional nature of having her be the career woman who’s therefore an emotionally closed off, narcissistic awful person, she is basically a robot. Everything about her is off-putting. And disturbing. Her lack of any social skills is frightening enough, but it’s the lack of compassion for anyone around her that makes it disturbing that either of the brothers, yet alone both of them, could fall for her.

I would not eat her baking.
The main character: The "good" brother that brings Meredith home to meet the family, Everett. He seems charming and handsome and likable, but then again, aren’t those the same traits we often hear about when it comes to people we later learn are sociopaths? Everett is an enabler. He’s little more than the son with the overbearing mother who’s there to do Mommy’s bidding. A little reminiscent of Jason Voorhees, Billy Loomis, and... well, about 25 other serial killers than came between and after them. What kind of decent human being would even subject someone he claims to love to the torture of meeting a family like his anyway? 

The Family Stone was quite enjoyable the first time I saw it, when I wasn’t of an age to be thinking about dating seriously, and it still is a good holiday viewing choice…if you watch it when you’re single.  But now that I am of that age where serious relationships are a reality, every time I see it I can’t help but think about how it’s the couples version of a holiday horror tale.