The joyful spirit of the holidays takes a grim turn in “All the Creatures Were Stirring”, a satirical and satisfying new Christmas horror anthology.
25 DAYS OF HOLIDAY HORROR (DECEMBER 3): ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING
Office party madness, reindeer revenge, a new take on A Christmas Carol, clever kills and much more…. All the Creatures Were Stirring brings on some dark holiday fun!
Ever since the first time I saw Tales from the Crypt’s “And All Through the House”, I was obsessed with Christmas Horror. Despite all the holiday slashers that come out every year, there was never a Christmas Horror Anthology — until in 2015 when we were gifted A Christmas Horror Story. I adored it but still wanted more. I’m a greedy little elf at Christmas!
I don’t have a big family to deal with during the holidays, so watching Christmas horror has become my favorite tradition of the year! Finally, I got what I wanted in my stocking, and there is a new Christmas horror anthology on the block. All the Creatures Were Stirring is just what I wanted.
Official Synopsis: When an awkward date on Christmas Eve leads a couple into a strange theater, they’re treated to a bizarre and frightening collection of Christmas stories, featuring an unusual group of characters doing their best to avoid the horrors of the holidays. From sadistic office parties and last-minute shopping nightmares, to vengeful stalkers and immortal demons, there’s plenty out there to fear.
Written and Directed by Rebekah and David Ian McKendry All the Creatures Were Stirring is their first feature film. You probably recognize their names as they are a well-known part of the horror world. Having worked at Fangoria and Blumhouse and even teaching horror history at colleges, these two crazy genre fans bring their passion of horror to life.
All the Creatures Were Stirring is five Christmas horror segments tied together with a story about a couple at a weird and creepy black box theater production of the same name. The couple, Max (Skipper Graham) and Jenna (Ashley Clements) are out on a first date and find themselves at the strangest Christmas theater experience of all times.
Part of what I love about this film is the movie within a play, within a movie, within a…well you get the idea! The alternative and minimalistic play, blending into the movie and back again was so clever. It was such a perfect way to connect all the stories together. Each time the segment was over we would be taken back to the theater, with the confused couple and an assortment of weirdos, watching the play get stranger and the audience get smaller.
Each one of the segments is unique, each with its own distinct style and mood. The acting is top notch, and I enjoyed what gore there was to be had. Not as much practical effects as I would want — but it was a pretty good mix, and all were well done.
Segment one is The Stockings Were Hung. This grimly sadistic office party from hell, starts out with a bang, literally, and leaves you guessing ‘till the bloody end. I never really liked the gift exchange game anyway.
Next up is Dash Away All. Apparently if you are born on Christmas, you may have a problem with demons. I thought it was just a bad day because you don’t get as many presents as people with birthdays on other days. Our boy Eric should not have been out Christmas shopping so late. Karma is a bitch. So are the ladies he meets.
All Through the House was one of my favorites. I love their take on A Christmas Carol. The use of the black and white film on the TV talking back to him was inspired and very funny. These ghosts can definitely get a Christmas curmudgeon to find their holiday spirit.
Arose Such a Clatter is a case of hit and run that made the animal lover in me sad, until I realized that Santa’s reindeers can take care of themselves. That Rudolph is pretty bad-ass!
In a Twinkling has a very Twilight Zone feel and was a lot of fun! Steve had no plans for Christmas, but being alone for the holidays is just not OK, especially to some visiting space invaders. I felt like Rod Sterling would walk out at any time when things got wobbly and turned black and white. Maybe next year they should go to a different house to party.
Overall, I really loved All the Creatures Were Stirring. Ending with And to All a Goodnight, our couple finds out they are actually part of the play and that one of them is a bit hungry! It was a nice dark ending to a fun holiday flick. Honestly, some segments are stronger than others, but wrapping them up with the black box theater…it worked perfectly.
Constance Wu and Jonathan Kite headline the amazing all-star sitcom ensemble of actors who are known and loved in the industry. There is something for every horror fan, from dark satire to slasher, revenge, ghosts and even a demon, topped with a dash of Sci-fi.