All Through the House (2016)
Starring Ashley Mary Nunes, Jessica Cameron, Melynda Kiring
Directed by Todd Nunes
With a pair of garden shears as sharp as the day is long, and a not-so-jolly attitude to boot, dear ol’ Saint Nick comes a-slashing in Todd Nunes’ holiday chop-fest, All Through the House, and while this one won’t make you forget about some of the festive dicers of the past, it’s still a worthwhile watch that should sit nicely on your shelf… right next to that stupid looking elf.
With a premise as simple as the plans to a gingerbread house, and characters as bright as Rudolph’s honker (just kidding), the movie sets up like this: Rachael (Nunes) comes back into town after some time away to visit friends and her Grandma, and the ultra-merry next-door neighbor, Mrs. Garrett, takes no time in asking her if she’d mind assisting with her decorations. Now, Mrs. Garrett has always been regarded as kind of a neighborhood kook, but Rachael’s willing to let the season of giving ring true, aside from a glancing peek into the past, and gives in to help with the decorations.
You see, Mrs. Garrett’s daughter, Jamie, was kidnapped 15 years ago, adding to the elder lady’s mental fraying – this has all the tinsel and ornaments of some serious trouble, and the small town is soon to be on Santa’s naughty list, and he ain’t dishing out coal! While the movie rolls on, we see some reunions with old friends, a couple of surprises, and a whole lot of garden-tool destruction by the fat man in red.
Nunes’ obvious love and respect for the 80’s slasher-set comes through with his direction in this film, complete with nods to other yuletide killers of years ago, and at the risk of sounding too terribly complacent with simple slice and dice, I really dug it. Performances are admirable for a bloodletting such as this, and even industry femme fatale Jessica Cameron gets some screen time (although not as much as I’d hoped for), but it’s Kiring’s over-the-top portrayal as the demented Garrett that brought the movie full-circle for me. Ripe with ham-like dialogue in spots, her emotion comes off as innately creepy in parts and purposely laughable in others – a well-acted role, for sure.
Gorehounds: I haven’t left you off the list, that’s for sure – there’ll be slashings, slicings, gougings, impalings, and eviscerations abounding, and you’ll feel as if Santa heard your wishes when you sat on his lap and asked for some serious bodily trauma. Overall, this holiday-horror presentation is one that should be checked out when it’s under your tree, but more importantly, it should be used as a warning template to never piss off the big guy in the red suit… he’s always watching, and he apparently has a fondness for yard implements.