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All the Creatures Were Stirring

5/10

Stars: Constance Wu, Jonathan Kite, Ashley Clements, Stephanie Drake, Matt Long, Graham Skipper, Mark Kelly, Morgan Peter Brown, Jocelin Donahue, Brie Grant, Katie Parker

Director: Rebekah & David Ian McKendry

Horror compendiums were all the rage in the 1960s and 1970s. They've been thin on the ground since then, so here's a Christmas collection. The first two don't really have endings, so it's not a great start. In the opener, office workers find themselves locked with presents on display that contain such things as a bullet, a knife. a gun and a gas mask. Only one will escape alive. Number two concerns a driver who improbably locks his keys and phone in his care and appeals for help to two girls in a van who prove, like him, to be Christmas babies involved in some kind of blood pact with a demon. Again, the ending is frustratingly inconclusive.

The third, a horror-slanted variation on A Christmas Carol is the most amusing, while, in the forth, a motorist runs over one of Santa's reindeer and pays the penalty. In the fifth, which contains the best acting, Steve (Brown) is about to chain himself up for Christmas Eve. His girlfriend Gabby (Wu) rings up, only to hear him say 'I told you I can't go out tonight.'

No he's not going to turn into a werewolf, but Gabby, when she turns up unannounced, finds herself playing hostess to three inquisitive aliens. There's a little coda afterwards which doesn't come off. A curate's egg, then, or maybe a curate's Christmas pud.

Available on most major digital platforms.

David Quinlan

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Jinga Films. Colour by Neptune Post.
80 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 18 Nov 2020