Director(s) – David Ian McKendry (Zombies March, Feather) and Rebekah McKendry (Witches Brew, The Dump)
Starring – Constance Wu (Children’s Hospital, The Lego Ninjago Movie), Jonathan Kite (Black Dynamite, American Dad!), and Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil, Insidious: Chapter 2)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 2.5/5
It’s December, mother fuckers! Now I can listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies judgment free! Christmas movies means Christmas horror flicks. Every December I try to work in classics like Black Christmas, Gremlins, Silent Night Deadly Night along with new hits like Secret Santa. This year a new Christmas horror flick hit store shelves. That movie, All the Creatures Were Stirring is a new horror anthology from directors David Ian McKendry and Rebekah McKendry. The film officially hit store shelves today but I was lucky enough to get a copy of this one a few days ago. Thanks for sending this one my way!
**Spoiler alert**This one follows a couple on a date at Christmas and decide to visit a play at a small theater. This unique theater is doing a play consisting of several tales. The first follows an office party with a dark secret where each present before them is a deadly weapon. The second story follows a married man out late Christmas shopping when he locks his keys and phone in his car. He finds a van nearby with two women in it. He asks them for help but something far more sinister is at play. The third story follows a man who accidentally hits a deer with his car and is forced to put it out of it’s misery with a large rock. He goes home to enjoy a nightcap and hit the bed but something is in his home and that deer he killed was no ordinary deer.
The fourth tale follows a single man who lives alone in his home and hates Christmas. That is until his negative outlook on the holiday warrants a visit from some unlikely souls. The fifth and final tales follows a man who has a dark secret about Christmas and soon his Christmas obsessed girlfriend will find out what that is when she invites herself over to spend the holiday with him.**Spoiler Alert**
Christmas horror is some of my favorite horror. I absolutely love Black Christmas. Most horror fans get a hard on for Halloween, and its a film that deserves all the boners, but I find myself getting more excited for this Bob Clark classic over Carpenter’s quintessential slasher. I was looking forward to this one but it failed to deliver the yuletide goods. In fact, this horror anthology was so bland and mediocre that I will now use it as my example of Wal-Mart horror replacing the shitty slasher Nobody Gets Out Alive. The film offers up no originality and bland performances.
The acting in this one isn’t bad. In fact, the cast consists of some pretty big names but they just don’t seem engaged in their roles. They are just casting through their lines with hopes that they can grab a paycheck. We have a small role from Chase Williams who some of you may recall from the now cult classic John Dies in the End and the most recent hit Beyond the Gates. Seeing him in a segment straight out the gate was awesome but his appearance was short lived. The remainder of the film we get very unenthused performances and flat characters.
The stories for this one borrows heavily from other horror greats like The Belko Experiment among a few others. Some were better than others which is to be expected with any anthology. I really enjoyed the office Christmas party segment along with the killer deer tale but the remainder of the film was just a boring experience. The pacing is all off and the film fails to pull in any tension or atmosphere.
Finally, the film does have some kickass effects and kills that would normally be unforgettable but due to the lack of content in the film the viewer will soon forget how amazing some of these kills are. The practical effects are fantastic which is a shame considering the film could not be on their level. Also worth noting that there is several instance of visual effects that actually look pretty solid as well. I was not expecting that and I have to give credit where it is due. Overall, All the Creatures Were Stirring is a Christmas disaster. The film is unable to pull together a consistently entertaining film. We do get some very entertaining death scenes but they go unnoticed against an unoriginal anthology.