Friday, December 28, 2018

Movie Review: "All The Creatures Were Stirring" (2018)

Director: David Ian and Rebekah McKendry
Year: 2018
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

A couple with nowhere else to be on Christmas Eve attends a play put on by a small theater troupe that acts out a series of horror stories.

All the Creatures Were Stirring 2018 movie
"You guys are messing with me, right?" (Image Source)
The most unbelievable part of "All the Creatures Were Stirring" is that two people would go to a theater on Christmas Eve and it wouldn't be crowded. Yeah right! This movie is written and directed by David Ian McKendry and Rebekah McKendry and is the couple's feature film debut. It is an anthology horror film tied together by a holiday theme. The framework revolves around a woman named Jenna (Ashley Clements) and a man named Max (Graham Skipper), who meet up on Christmas Eve at a playhouse because neither of them has anything better to do. The play they are attending consists of an anthology of horror stories acted out in an experimental way. Each of these tales morphs into a Christmas-horror-themed short film. The first is about a twisted game at an office Christmas party. The second takes place in a mall parking lot where a man who locked his keys in his car encounters two helpful women who may have ulterior motives. The third is a modern-day knockoff of "A Christmas Carol," then a reindeer revenge tale, and finally, the last is about an alien abduction at an impromptu Christmas dinner. 
"All that's left is food for the rat." (Image Source)
As with most anthology films, we usually expect a few big hits and a couple of misses. "All the Creatures Were Stirring" is mostly full of misses with the best of the bunch being only passable. The gore factor starts off with a bang, literally, but it mostly goes downhill from there. It's missing most of the key components that we look for when judging whether or not horror films are successful. There is an overall lack of tension and proper atmosphere in this film. Of course, these shorts are mostly presented as dark comedy horrors, but they are still only mildly humorous at best. As we mentioned, there is a little bit of gore, but even that is sparse. There are fleeting moments where we thought things were turning around, but overall, most of the stories tend to drag a bit and don't feel fully realized. Don't get us wrong, this isn't a downright awful movie, but it's also fairly unremarkable in every way. The framework story even feels lazy, and the ending is simultaneously exactly what we expected and underwhelming. Our favorite segment was the last one called "In a Twinkling" starring Constance Wu. This short had the most going for it as a bit of an homage to 50's-60's sci-fi flicks. It's about aliens trying to understand why we do certain things at Christmas, and it managed to make us laugh quite a bit. The other decent entry is "Dash Away All" about a last minute holiday shopper who gets his keys locked in the car and winds up having the worst night of his life. This segment probably has the best makeup work, the most blood, and has the closest thing resembling adequate atmosphere.
"Could you tell us about one of your own Christmas memories?" (Image Source)
In the end, "All the Creatures Were Stirring" is a bit of a disappointment. It's yet another anthology series that falls short, and the strength of its good entries aren't quite enough to prop up the bad ones. It could have been a lot worse (believe me, we've seen worse), but to be honest, we didn't even remember we watched this the day after we saw it, which is never a good sign.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.1/10
RT Rating: ~86%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

No comments:

Post a Comment