Cast: Amanda Fuller, Ashley Clements, Graham Skipper, Matt Long
Written by: David Ian McKendry , Rebekah McKendry
Directed by: David Ian McKendry, Rebekah McKendry
Run time: 80 minutes
All the Creatures Were Stirring is a holiday horror anthology which features five short vignettes wrapped within an overall story. The wraparound story concerns an awkward Christmas Eve date between Max and Jenna. They go to a local artsy theater to see a play put on by a trio of actors. Each act of the play is a separate story played out in a short film segment of roughly 10 – 15 minutes.
The first finds the unhappy employees of a company attending the office Christmas party. They find themselves locked inside a small room and being forced by a psychotic killer to open a series of deadly Christmas gifts.
The second segment is the best of the bunch. A last minute shopper at a mall locks his keys and phone in his car. A couple of young women in a retro 80s party van turn out to be not quite the good Samaritans they appear as at first.
The third is an all-too familiar take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with grumpy, workaholic Chet having to be shown the true meaning of Christmas. This one features Amanda Fuller, best known from the TV series Last Man Standing.
The fourth segment finds distracted driver Guy hitting and killing a deer on a forest back road. When he checks out the deer he notices it is wearing a collar with the name “Blitzen”.
The last segment features a group of friends gathering for Christmas Eve dinner and invaded by a group of bizarre aliens.
“All the Creatures were Stirring” was written and Directed by the husband and wife team of Rebekah and David Ian McKendry. This is their first feature film after directing a number of short films. They stick with what they know with this anthology film. They are able to quickly tell their stories without the need for much exposition or character development.
They infuse the film with a bizarre creepiness even If all of the segments are not of equal quality. Certainly any of us who have ever attended an office Christmas party can relate to the sometimes awkward gift exchanges and the co-workers you’d rather not spend a minute more with outside of the work environment.
The wraparound story didn’t do much for me and I would have rather it tied in more to the shorter pieces but as holiday horror films go there are worse ones out there.
Writers/directors David Ian McKendry and Rebekah McKendry are joined by producer Joe Wicker and actor/producer Morgan Peter Brown for All the Creatures Were Stirring’s commentary track.