‘Stirring’ (2018) – A Bloody Yuletide Massacre, Not Your Average Reindeer Games

Christmas may be over (actually my tree is still up), but there’s a never a bad time to watch a Christmas horror movie, especially a new one. For close to a year, I’ve been waiting anxiously for Troy Escamilla’s new film Stirring. After seeing his work in Party Night, I knew what he could do and couldn’t wait to see what he would accomplish with this one. I knew it would be a big deal as everyone loves a Christmas slasher.

Today, January 5th, 2018, I finally got my claws on it. Was it the yuletide horror extravaganza that I was hoping for?

Produced by Fright Meter Films, this Christmas horror is directed and written by Troy Escamilla. The cast includes Helene UdyBrinke StevensDaiane Azura, Kaylee Williams, Mel Heflin, Hailey Strader, Billy Brannigan, Ryan Poole, Brandy Specks, Jantel Fontenot, Jace Greenwood, and Drew Shotwell.

Official Synopsis for Stirring

Students attending a Christmas party at a sorority house with a sinister past are stalked by a bloodthirsty killer disguised as Mrs. Claus.

Stirring is sure to become a Holiday favorite just like the ones before it such as Black Christmas, Silent Night, Deadly Night, and last years All Through The House. The film is a twisted revenge story with fun characters and insanely awesome kills.  It’s packed full of booze, boobs, and, most importantly, blood. I mean drenched in blood. It’s a fucking yuletide massacre and it’s horrifyingly beautiful. Plus the film is shot marvelously with a creepy yet festive musical score.

From beginning to end Stirring is one crazy thing after another. The opening scene, in particular, was quite shocking and depraved. That’s the moment I knew I would be rooting for Mel Heflin’s character Angela. Fuck sorority bitches and their reindeer games. Kaylee William’s character was utterly vicious.

Troy always casts realistic people. People that you can relate to on different levels. They look like college students, not 30-year-olds playing a character that is 20 years old. Nothing is fake about it and honestly, it’s refreshing. All of the characters brought something to the table, but it was a real treat to see Helene Udy and Brinke Stevens on the screen together. They’re horror royalty and they brought their A-game as they always do.

I loved seeing Party Night’s Billy Brannigan, Drew Shotwell, and Ryan Poole once again. They’re talented and have great chemistry. Drew is hilarious and I especially loved his character in this one. However, as far as new blood goes, the characters that stood out to me the most was Angela Tyler (Greenwood), Monica (Fontenot), and Danielle (Strader). They delivered top-notch performances and their personalities dominated the screen. Hailey Strader reminds me of a young Jena Malone (The Neon Demon, Donnie Darko) and I definitely would love to see her in more roles as well as the rest of them. 

Derek Huey killed it with the cinematography and editing with Stirring. It’s quality work, I loved the opening credits especially. You can tell how hard he worked to make this film flow smoothly and something fans won’t want to take their eyes off of. Heather Benson’s special effects were perfect. Nothing over the top and very realistic. Plus you can’t have a Christmas horror story without some holiday tunes and I love the musical score executed by Mark D’Errico.

Last but most definitely not least the kills were my favorite thing about the film. They were brutal, smart, inventive, and as I mentioned before they didn’t hold back on the blood at all. My favorite one had to do a specific object being shoved someone’s throat, but you’ll have to view it yourself if you want to find out which one I’m talking about.

Final Thoughts on Stirring:

Troy Escamilla “sleighed” it once again. Stirring delivers a bloody yuletide adventure with holiday cheer and a killer Mrs. Claus lurking around every corner. It’s full of twist and turns, great characters, and memorable kills. It will be making my top 10 list of favorite Christmas horror films from now on and I’m sure I won’t be the only one.

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About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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