Want Some Christmas Horror? All the Creatures Were Stirring …

23 Dec

Trailer and Poster for 'All the Creatures Were Stirring' - PopHorror

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to Stream on Shudder, Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play.

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse;
When no one’s around,
but the sound of a scream.
All anyone can hope is
the scare was a dream.
When out on the lawn
there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed
to see what was the matter.
The moon on the breast
of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday,
of broken people seen far below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
I shuddered, I muttered, “oh dear, oh dear!”

All the Creatures were Stirring is a gentle horror anthology by Rebekah and David Ian McKendry to remind viewers about what the holiday is about. My play on Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” reflects upon the changes these two producers have done to the holiday classic. They’ve effectively switched the cheer to create some holiday fear, as some people want to enjoy a scary Christmas story as the time nears. Usually that’s a tale about phantoms, and we do get one of the four stories within a story play with that idea.

All is not safe in the theatre Max takes Jenna to. They’re on a date and they have no idea what they’re about to witness. They must be checking out a Winter Fringe Festival; the episodes are performed with minimal props but when we jump into those tales, they are fully realized nightmare fuel.

The third piece, “All Through the House,“ excels at that. I don’t want to say anything about this segment, so it’s best to check this film anthology yourself. “Dash Away All” is the best of the four pieces, since it shows how one man fails at Christmas by saving holiday shopping needs till the last minute. This has more of a supernatural flair than the rest and I thought the first one about office workers needed further polishing.

“In a Twinkling” suggests all is not safe when others get possessed by aliens, and it’s an eerie spin on this scenario.

The stitch arc concerning Max and Jenna is that one of them must be in on the gag. If there’s to be a payoff, perhaps that, for the season, it’s better to make merry with friends or family instead of strangers. It’s best to enjoy life so that you don’t end up like them!

3½ Stars out of 5

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