Plot: A first date on Christmas Eve can be a tough sell, but an awkward guy hopes he can dazzle his potential love interest with tickets to a stage production, one that has a holiday theme, but seems to be quite experimental in nature. The couple is soon treated to a series of seasonal stories, such as a dull office party turned into something sinister, a man who has to face his selfish demons, an eerie parking lot encounter, a strange dinner conversation, and more. The audience keeps thinning out between skits, but our noble couple presses on, even as things take weirder turns. Is this production just an offbeat collection of sketches from an oddball theater troupe, or is there is a much darker force at work?
Entertainment Value: I think horror anthologies can be a great, as some stories are effective in short bursts, but fall apart when expanded into a feature. So to be able to watch a few tight, brisk horror tales unfold can be fun, but sadly that’s not the case with All the Creatures Were Stirring. I liked the live production concept the film begins with, but once we switch to the actual segments themselves, the movie turns into a dull, slow plod toward the end credits. I can’t even blame a bloated run time, as the film clocks in at 80 minutes, but it is a total chore to sit through. The wraparound is one of the better parts of the movie, but little time is invested there, so it feels like some potential was left on the table. The only other segment I found interesting was the parking lot one, which had a fun premise, but again wasn’t given much time. Meanwhile the awful office skit and dinner party sequences ran on and on, with minimal entertainment, so I found the focus to be misplaced here. The cast includes some familiar faces of the indie horror world, but the performances were basic and forgettable. Jonathan Kite’s over the top turn was fun to watch, but his segment was a tired retread of A Christmas Carol that was near torture to endure. If you simply must see every horror anthology, good luck, but I found this one to be unoriginal and beyond dull.
No nakedness. On the violence front, we have a few nice instances of bloodshed, as well as a lot of horrible, hard to watch digital effects. This is the kind of digital work you’d think was done on MS Paint, hilariously awful and especially the office party scene is littered with it. The movie does deliver some nice slashes, but they’re infrequent and the film relies on either the digital methods or off screen antics. Which is a shame, since the movie needed a boost of some kind, so even some mildly fun violence could have worked wonders here. But I suppose if you and your friends like to MST3K movies, the abysmal digital effects could provide some laughs. The dialogue is rather basic and forgettable, so not any real stand out moments or lines. The cast doesn’t seem to go for it often, but as I said before, Kite does dial up his performance. So his segment has enough silliness to warrant a point, but that’s all we have here. This also carries over to the craziness, which runs low and there’s not much fun to be had. This is straight forward, basic, and forgettable stuff.
Overall Insanity: 1/10