What’s this – colored blinking lights, mistletoe and festive reindeer surround me, in a dizzying cacophony of cheer?? While, yes, I *have* crashed into the garden section of Home Depot again – it’s also the Holiday Season, suckas!!! Time to review some drivel!!
Today’s selection comes courtesy of my friend Kat, so – you know, take it up with her:
I watched this movie on Netflix, folks. Hug your loved ones tight, for no place is safe from formulaic holiday fare!!
We see a handsome young man with kind of a hipster haircut struggling through the snow towards a hotel party on Christmas Eve. It’s the olden days, which you can tell because everyone has a pocket watch. As he watches from a distance, the woman he was journeying to see – some thot named Lily – comes out on the porch to touch tongues with some other man. Dayum! He doesn’t watch their make-out sesh long before being whacked in the back of the head. END SCENE.
Now we’re in the present day! We meet our heroine Kate, who is getting dumped at a very nice restaurant in Boston. But fear not! She’s already hip to the fact that all of her boyfriends tell her she’s dead inside and incapable of love, so she both saw this coming and does. not. care. She’s a very busy attorney, after all – and in the land of made-for-TV movies, you cannot have a successful job *and* a relationship. Can’t be done.
Back at the office, her boss tells her she needs to sell off a haunted hotel in Vermont for some old bag they represent who just kicked the bucket. Kate’s like, “Haunted?” And her boss is like, “45% of the population still believes in ghosts!” And Kate’s like, “What a weird stat to just have on hand!!!”
Off to sickeningly picture-perfect Vermont you go, Kate! She arrives at the idyllic Hollygrove Inn just in time to see some pussy appraiser getting back into his car and speeding away. The caretaker of the hotel explains it was “probably just Daniel”, the resident ghost, who scared him off. Kate can’t roll her eyes hard enough, as they’re still in her head. She tells him she’s not scared to appraise the fuck out of this place herself, so he can clear out by December 13th, as is his “tradition”.
Kate settles in for her first night alone at the inn. While she’s asleep, someone lets themselves in through the back door with the alarm code. How fucking funny would it be if that’s all it took to keep a ghost out? Change the security system code, and Voila!
Kate is awakened by noises and creeps downstairs to investigate, where she’s confronted by the guy from the beginning of the flick – still all old-timey and shit – who informs her she’s trespassing. He throws her out into the cold, she calls the cops to let her back in, and around and around we go! Oh, these two!! The man is of course the ghost of the inn, Daniel. Daniel tells Kate he just wants to be left alone, but she’s like, “AS IF – I have a promotion riding on this appraisal” And Daniel is like, “Wuuuut, women have jobs now?”
The caretaker comes back to the hotel to help Daniel explain to Kate that the reason she can see and touch him, is because he’s not *currently* a ghost. He shows up at the inn every December 13th, and goes back to being a ghost when the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve because of a curse. I mean, of course it’s a curse – it’s a curse, of course! Also – this was my face when they said Daniel was only corporeal for 12 days:
Daniel shows Kate his super cool trick of disappearing when he tries to leave the hotel grounds, and she’s like, “What a surprise a man who wants to LEAVE ME.”
The guy playing the caretaker is creeping me out. Apart from his terrible acting and molasses-slow line reading, he also stands really close to Kate in all of their scenes.
Ga-ross! Anyhoodles, Kate is adamant about finding out what’s up with this curse of Daniel’s. She nags him until he confesses he was a bootlegger back in his time, and was coming back to the inn from a rum-running trip in Montreal when he caught his fiancee Lily swapping spit with his hateful brother. And before you even ask, no – he doesn’t remember how he died. His body was just found in the woods, along with a couple of Hustlers and empty wine coolers.
Daniel’s flashbacks have brought us a couple of new contenders for “Face Erin Hates Looking At The Most”! May I introduce, “Eyebrows O’Houlihan”!!!:
And in this corner, “Liver-Lipped MacGillicuddy”!:
Gentlemen, please fight to the death!
Back in the present day, a woman (whose name I missed and I refuse to look up, so let’s just call her Mittens) shows up at the inn and demands to use the space to get the townies liquored up, because a pipe in her bar has burst. It all feels wholly unnecessary, but I’m not a high-flying holiday movie writer! (YET)
Daniel, who up until now has been bitching non-stop about all the people ruining his season of solitude is very excited to entertain an inn full of randos. He mixes drinks and acts superior to everyone and has a rather great time until Mittens gets lubed up and starts gossiping about Daniel right in front of him. “Squawk squawk – Daniel’s fiancee Lily married his brother a month after he died! Then Lily gave birth to a baby boy and died herself – IN THIS VERY HOTEL!!!”
Daniel is upset. Kate decides to rub salt in his wounds and tells him since he lied to Lily about his bootlegging, he basically killed her himself. Daniel is like, “Bitch, that is a bridge too far! Get the fuck out tomorrow.”
Sad Daniel walks around the inn by himself at night where he catches a glimpse of Lily giggling at him. She’s in red, which I’m assuming is some kind of omen.
The next day Kate runs out to get a Christmas tree Daniel expressly said he didn’t want as a way of saying she’s sorry. When she gets back she gets locked in a room and told to go away by a fuzzy black shape that scares the shit out of her:
Daniel opens the door and saves her life, I guess. They put two and two together and realize there must be a *second* ghost haunting the inn. Good gravy, the haunted hijinks!
They decorate the tree and flirt with each other and Kate confesses she doesn’t know how to be in love because she’s a CHILD OF DIVORCE. That’s all Daniel needs to hear, and he insists on keeping vigil over Kate that night to protect her from errant coat racks. Feelings being felt, y’all!!
They’re starting to narrow down the list of possible Daniel-murderers and the caretaker has begun to stay a comfortable distance away from Kate’s boobs, so of course her boss calls and demands she get back to Boston so he can yell at her.
While Kate is back in the real world, the caretaker hangs back to get advice from Daniel on how to woo Mittens. Yeah – a whole Mittens/caretaker thing is happening. I tried to shield you from it, I really did.
Daniel realizes an eternity in the hotel with this weirdo might be a fate worse than death and so calls the appraiser himself to get the hotel looked at. Word reaches Kate in Boston that the appraisal is complete, and her boss tells her there’s no need for her to return to the hotel anymore, so she better fuckin’ stay put or she’s gonna lose out on her promotion. But she’s all “nuts to you, I believe in love now, which means I have to sacrifice my life’s work, byyyyyyeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!”.
She goes back to the hotel and shows Daniel his son’s birth certificate, on which he is listed as the father. Yippee, your cheating fiancee still put your name down, so maybe rest in peace? Nope! Not before the Christmas Eve dance that must be shoehorned into all of these movies! Let’s get churched up and boogie, homies!
Because of the Jesus-magic of Christmas or whatever, during the dance Daniel gets a glimpse at how things unfolded on that night so many years ago. There’s Lily waiting on the porch of the hotel for him while his back-stabbing brother (Liver-Lipped MacGillicuddy) yells at her that Daniel is off bootlegging. But what’s this? They don’t kiss! They don’t kiss at all!! Daniel’s brother is merely comforting a despondent Lily by giving her the world’s most aggressive and awkward hug!
Then Daniel sees that he died taking a rock to the back of the head, and the person who did it was none other than Eyebrows O’Houlihan! He did it because Daniel was trying to get out of the bootlegging game, and like – Eyebrows would have to get a new bootleg buddy or something? Regardless, he’s super sorry.
Back in the present-day, Daniel and Kate realize that Eyebrows is the second ghost that’s been haunting the hotel. Daniel confronts him and tells him he forgives him, so his spirit is no longer trapped at the inn and so he can go to hell, already. He also proclaims that is wasn’t a curse that’s been keeping him here all these years, but a miracle! A miracle that his dead fiancee Lily orchestrated, so he could have Christmas alone forever! Um, thanks? I mean, I guess it’s better than a tie.
Kate has decided she’s in love with Daniel and is already planning to be at the inn for every single Christmas so she can spend the 12 days that Daniel comes to life with him. He’s like – ghosts get scared too, and commitment TERRIFIES ME!!!!
At the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, ghost-fiancee Lily tells him he is released from the gift/curse, and can finally leave the inn. But will he follow her to heaven, or will he stay in Vermont with Kate? Or maybe he’ll choose the MYSTERY BOX.
Christmas morning dawns! Kate wakes up alone, with no sign of Daniel. Mittens and the caretaker show up to let us all know they are together now and they’re a thing, and we all just have to get used to it. They’ve decided to buy the inn, so Daniel and the haunted coat racks can stay as long as they want.
But they don’t have to worry about Daniel anymore – because he has decided to become a real boy! Kate steps outside to see him running to her through the woods!
I rewound the scene of Daniel running through the forest three times because it looked so hilarious to me. He was like a sex doll brought to life, trying to run for the very first time. I laughed and laughed and missed the meaningful “I love you” speeches Daniel and Kate traded, but I’m sure they were dumb. THE END!!!!
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