An awkward couple arrive at a playhouse presenting a series of vignettes, named after phrases from ‘The Night Before Christmas‘, and based on varying elements of the Christmas spirit (and hosted by a silent master of ceremonies portrayed by genre mainstay Maria Olsen). Thus begins the latest arcane anthology from our beloved horror biz titled All the Creatures Were Stirring.
The first story up is called ‘The Stockings Were Hung‘, and concerns an office Holiday party where the gift exchange goes hideously awry as an unwanted participant turns the game into a murder packed fight for survival!
This was a tale equal parts humorous and grim and a very strong start to the ho ho horror at hand.
Next we have ‘Dash Away All‘ which presents the terror tale of a man trying to get home for Christmas. Things become complicated when he locks his keys in his car and seeks help from two mysterious women in a van…a van that harbors an unholy secret.
Dash was a fun, micro sized creature feature with fun twists, and honestly was one of my favorites of the stories at hand.
Moving on we come to ‘All Through the House‘ the tale of a real Scrooge of a dude who undergoes his own pitch-black yuletide catharsis.
As you can surmise, this was a great play on the tropes presented in the Dicken’s classic ‘A Christmas Carol‘ mixed with black humor, and was another strong entry.
Following that comes ‘Arose Such a Clatter‘, the story of a man who hits one of Santa’s reindeer with his car, then is stalked by ol’ Rudolph who is mega-pissed.
Killer reindeer. Seriously; this is so gloriously bat-shit that it was absolutely my favorite of the yarns presented…simply brilliant in it’s delirious nonsense!
Finally we get ‘In A Twinkling‘; the story of a man cursed to star in his own ‘Twilight Zone‘-esque living nightmare, complete with black and white photography, undying robotic friends, and twisted holiday spirit…oh, and there’s aliens involved.
This too was an off-the-rails entry, and in my opinion would make an kick-ass feature length fright flick on it’s own!
As for extras on this DVD release from RLJE films, we get only a filmmaker commentary featuring Writer/Directors Rebekah and David Ian McKendry, Producer Joe Wicker and Producer/Actor Morgan Peter Brown. This is a lively listen, full of anecdotes, and every bit as entertaining as the feature at hand.
Full of humor and horror in equal measure, and with nary a dud in sight, All The Creatures Were Stirring is one of the strongest horror anthologies in recent memory, and shouldn’t be missed by horror hounds lookin’ for some holiday based fright fare!
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