Directed by Todd Nunes [Other horror films: Scary Larry (2014)]
I have to say that I found this Christmas-themed slasher disappointing, but I also have to admit that I’m not surprised, given the generally lukewarm reception I’ve heard from this one.
And it’s a shame, too, because I suspect that, more than most people, I was looking forward to this one. Why? Because back in 2011, the director of this film, Todd Nunes, directed a 13-minute short titled Here Comes Santa. This is a short which I reviewed on my now-defunct Beyond the Darkened Door, a horror blog I was trying to run for a short and inconsistent time in my college days.
To keep things short, I found Here Comes Santa a pretty well-made short. I gave it a glowing review, and definitely saw potential should the director attempt a full-length version of the story.
But to all hope comes death, as the poets say, and the final product here just felt more hollow than anything. Which isn’t to say that the movie doesn’t have strong points, but really, aside from gore, what does All Through the House really have going for it?
I will say that I like the base idea of the film – three young women terrorized by a killer wearing Santa garb while helping to decorate a large house – but the story beyond this, what with the mystery of the focal character’s mother and another character’s missing daughter just sort of fell off the rails.
Again, I have to mention the failed potential here, because while neither of these mysteries were up there with those seen in classic giallos, it still brought a little additional element to the movie, but come the finale, the answers we get aren’t really that satisfying to me.
For what it’s worth, I thought most of the marginally more important performances were decent. It’s not likely that many would be blown away by Ashley Mary Nunes, Melynda Kiring, Jason Ray Schumacher, or Natalie Montera, but they all do fine enough with what little character they get to play around with.
That’s part of the problem, really. Most of these characters just seem shallow, and I don’t think we even get to know the main character of Rachel (Nunes) all that well. More than anything, this movie feels like an excuse to show off decent gore effects, which, while certainly appreciated, isn’t enough to keep interest in a story going. Had the mystery here been handled a bit differently, then maybe we’re talking another story, but with what we got, it just didn’t do it.
There’s also something that should be said about the editing. I don’t think I’m the guy to say it, because I’m not a film-maker, and I have literally no idea what goes into production and post-production of films, and thus lack the vocabulary to explain my problem, but the editing here just felt off at times. I sensed it from the very beginning, and though I can’t put a finger on why things felt off, I know that, to me, they did.
Overall, you have some impressive gory scenes here, but once you get past that, I don’t think there’s a lot holding this one up, and as far as Christmas-themed horror films go, I think that All Through the House will end up in the forgotten category more so than anything else. Definitely not a great experience, and a film I found rather below average.
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