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All The Creatures Were Stirring Leans Into The Horror of The Holiday Season

The comedy horror anthology flips the script on classic Christmas traditions.
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Deadly dull office holiday parties. Last minute gift shopping. Uninvited friends and relatives. These classic holiday set-ups get the horror movie treatment in All The Creatures Were Stirring, a horror comedy anthology film co-written and co-directed by husband and wife duo David Ian McKendry (Zombies March) and Rebekah McKendry (Tales of Halloween).

The official synopsis reads:

Ho, ho, no! The joyful spirit of the holidays is about to take one dark turn after another. From sadistic office parties and last-minute shopping nightmares, to vengeful stalkers and immortal demons, there’s plenty out there to keep you from getting out of bed to see what’s under the tree this holiday season. Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) and Jonathan Kite (“2 Broke Girls”) headline a sensational ensemble cast in this devilish stocking stuffer of a movie.

When Max (Graham Skipper) and Jenna (Ashley Clements) decide to go see a play on Christmas Eve, they are treated to a series of vignettes: five haunted holiday tales, each bookended by my personal nightmare: pretentious avant-garde theater. The first story, “The Stockings Were Hung”, follows the events of an office Christmas party, where a game of White Elephant turns deadly. Other stories include a hapless shopper (Matt Long) who gets locked out of his car after a long night of shopping, and a scrooge-like jerk (2 Broke Girls‘ Jonathan Kite) who is visited by the three ghosts of Christmas.

The best segment stars Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) in a Twilight Zone-esque tale about unwanted guests at a Christmas party. The film works by taking classic complaints around the holidays and accentuating their effects to hyperbolic effect. The dark humor of All The Creatures Were Stirring makes it a welcome antidote to all the saccharine-sweet Christmas movies we’re inundated with every year.

And if you’re looking for yet another reason to be impressed, co-writer and co-director Rebekah McKendry made the movie while she was nine months pregnant with her son. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, McKendry said “We shot the first two segments while I was nine months pregnant, then we had to stop because it reached a point where I went a little bit past my due date. My doctor was like, ‘Okay, you have to give birth this Wednesday, we’re making an appointment.’”

KcKendry wasn’t deterred, saying “My first call wasn’t to my parents, it was to my producers, saying, ‘Okay guys, we can’t shoot next weekend, I have to go give birth.’ We took three weeks off after I gave birth, and then we were right back on, and I brought my son to set with me.”

If McKendry’s name sounds familiar, you may know her as one of the hosts of the horror moive podcast Shock Waves (formerly known as Killer POV) on the Blumhouse Podcast Network. She also has a PhD in Media Studies (with an emphasis on horror films) and teaches at USC, where she will be launching the school’s first-ever horror film production course. Where can when sign up?

All The Creatures Were Stirring will be available On Demand, DVD, and digital video on December 4th.

(via Collider, image: RLJE Films)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.