‘All Creatures Were Stirring’ Is Like ‘Creepshow’ Ordered From Wish

Horror anthologies are always hit or miss. Look at the V/H/S movies. In my opinion, only the first two Creepshow movies and their cousin Tales from the Darkside: The Movie managed to make every story worthwhile.

All Creatures Were Stirring wants to be A Christmas Creepshow, but it ends up looking like something you’d used to find in the horror section of a video shop back in the 1990s in between more famous horror movies, so you’d snatch it up because they’re only charging a dollar or two to rent, but you realize within the first five minutes, you’re in for something totally uninteresting. Even at 80 minutes with credits with a frame story and five segments, it feels a lot longer than it should.

Written and directed by husband and wife David Ian McKendry and Rebekah McKendry, it starts out with two people, Max (Graham Skipper) and Jenna (Ashley Clements) meeting on Christmas Eve outside a local community theater presentation of “All Creatures Were Stirring” where actors perform five stories. Then we switch to an office party with other people in the first story, “The Stockings Were Hung” as the staff conducts a gift exchange that turns violent. Aside from a surprise kill, this story is disappointing. This came out after The Belko Experiment and has a Saw feel to it, but it’s not filmed, acted or edited the right way and feels too rushed.

The second story is “Dash Away All” in a man, Eric (Matt Long) runs into two strange women in a van in a parking lot. There are Frankie (Makeda Declet) and Sasha (Catherin Parker) and they have a secret that I won’t reveral. All I’m going to say is that the story revolves around people who have their birthday on Christmas.

“Arose Such a Clatter” is a goofy story that is short and focuses on a vengeful Rudolph. It’s filmed partially from his point of view but there’s no thrills as the concept is just absurd enough. “All Through the House” takes on A Christmas Carol plot as a grumpy young professional man Chet (Jonathan Kite) gets a visit from supernatural entities but there’s not much there and this is the weakest story of all the movie.

The fifth and the last one “In a Twinkling” has a man, Steve (Morgan Peter Brown), hoping to spend Christmas Eve alone when he gets a surprise visit by his girlfriend, Gabby (Constance Wu) and others that takes a weird Twilight Zone turn. It’s probably one of the best along with “Dash Away All” but the McKendrys still have a a lot to learn on how to make a feature movie. This is their first outing in a feature movie.

There’s little comedy and little horror for it to be a horror comedy. There is an impressive cast with Wu, who was in Crazy Rich Asians, and Kite who was on 2 Broke Girls. Parker appeared in a few episodes of The Haunting of Hill House and Brown was in a few episodes of Impeachment. I feel most of the casting was done either by favors to help the novice filmmakers or by what’s-their-name actors willing to take whatever they could get because a gig is a gig. I think I read where one actor filmed all their scenes in three hours.

Some horror fans may enjoy it, but most will be bored. Even though it’s short, it feels long. And worse, it feels like it’s not been completed.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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