What happens when you take the tale of a cute little bunny who delivers candy and mix it with a serious story such as Christ’s resurrection? That’s what Nicholas McCarthy’s short film Easter is all about.
Part of the hit-or-miss anthology film Holidays (2016), Easter accomplishes in a few short minutes what some films can’t in a few hours: It simultaneously makes us question, laugh at and fear the cultural narratives we grew up hearing. Easter might make us ask ourselves why we tell our own children the stories we do. In other words, this story is thought provoking and pretty damn sacrilegious.
As a mother (Petra Wright) tells her daughter (Ava Acres) about the Easter Bunny, the little girl quite naturally wonders things like, “How does he get in the house?” Making the religious connection, she asks questions about Jesus. “Did he really come back from the dead?” There’s a hint here that even basing questions are almost taboo. Quite simply, in mom’s world and many others, we’re just not supposed to question these things much. Put aside your doubts and confusion and don’t consider possible contradictions. Just believe and you’ll be fine.
What if these confused ideas were actually true? When this little girl wakes up at night for a glass of water, she accidentally sees the Easter Bunny and Christ converged into one creepy figure:
There are multiple ways to react to this. Some people may be offended. Others (such as myself) might break out into hysterical laughter.
It reminds me that people react differently to the same story according to their own experiences and biases. At the same time, I can respect that, beneath certain comedic aspects, there is still a serious story here with some deep underlying messages. I have no doubt that Nicholas McCarthy had both comedic and serious intentions with Easter as well as a taste for horror. This short is finely nuanced, thought provoking stuff.
Then again, maybe it’s okay to not question things so much. After all, good little boys and girls get candy and Christmas presents, and presumably never see anything like this for real. Right?
Yeah, just keep telling yourself that. In the back of your mind — at the bottom of your sad, little thumping heart — you know a creature like this could actually be out there. So don’t open your eyes, cling to your covers, and maybe all that awaits you will be candy.