07th Dec2018

‘All The Creatures Were Stirring’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Constance Wu, Jonathan Kite, Jocelin Donahue, Ashley Clements, Mark Kelly, Graham Skipper, Matt Long, Amanda Fuller, Catherine Parker, Morgan Peter Brown, Michelle DeFraites, Stephanie Drake, Peter Cilella, Makeda Declet, Megan Duffy | Written and Directed by David Ian McKendry, Rebekah McKendry

ALL-CREATURES-POSTER

As far as I know All The Creatures Were Stirring is the second ever Christmas horror anthology movie, with the first being the highly entertaining A Christmas Horror Story.

This one has five segments and one encompassing segment which begins and ends the film as well as linking each other segment. In this we see a man and woman who are kind of on a date at a local theatre. They meet outside and once inside are introduced to a couple of strange characters until they are eventually seated to watch the show. The first part of the show then leads into the opening segment The Stockings Are Hung. Here we are at an office party and a slightly different kind of ‘secret santa’ that ends up involving quite a lot of death. It’s an original piece and features some good-looking death scenes using practical effects. It doesn’t go for any obvious conclusion and the short run time flies by.

Quickly moving on to the next part Dash Away All. This one being my favourite segment, it involves a guy doing some last minute Christmas Eve shopping only to lock himself out of his own car in a dark, almost empty car park. I had no idea where exactly this was heading, which gave it its own mysterious atmosphere from its first few seconds. The acting from the three cast members is the best in the whole movie and the reveal to the actual ‘horror’ of the short is perfectly placed and rather than ending it all, actually adds to the intrigue. This could easily be turned into a full feature movie.

Third up is All Through The House. A strange twist on the classic Christmas Carol story. I still think there’s a great full length horror movie to be made from this story. As a short, this is pretty good though. You’re never really sure what’s reality and what’s not and once again there’s some good practical effects. Jonathan Kite is entertaining in the lead role and it’s a nicely told odd story. Arose Such A Clatter is a Christmas tale of revenge not completely unlike the fabulous Treevenge. It’s less comedic than you might expect but the style the filmmakers go for definitely works well. I actually wouldn’t have minded this to go on a bit longer

Finally, Twinkling is a perfectly weird sci-fi horror which feels completely unique. It’s well written and clever, while adding just the right amount of creepiness. And Constance Wu puts in one of the best performances of the anthology. The wrap around then ends the film by making things even creepier, and possibly adding more questions rather than having many answers.

Writing and Directing duo David Ian and Rebekah McKendry are definitely ones to look out for because they clearly have some fantastic ideas that they can put together expertly on a small budget; and All The Creatures Were Stirring is definitely one of my favourite modern festive horror movies. With each segment highly entertaining (there’s no duds) and a whole lot of originality in each story, I’d happily like to see the franchise release a new anthology every year!

**** 4/5

All The Creatures Were Stirring is available on VOD and DVD now.

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