Horror Movie Review: A Creature Was Stirring (2023)

Watching director Damien LeVeck’s Christmas creature-feature horror, A Creature Was Stirring is a lesson in frustration. Where you’re left constantly baffled as to why certain decisions were made and why it ever had to be as convoluted as it is. Come the end, many might find themselves actively annoyed with the film, mainly because it is really good in certain specific areas.

Written by Shannon Wells, and starring Chrissy Metz, Annalise Basso, Scout Taylor-Compton, and Connor Paolo. A Creature Was Stirring is an initially compelling watch as we’re introduced to Faith and Charm, mother and daughter. The film doesn’t play coy with revealing that what is going on inside their house, is troublesome to say the least.

Trouble that involves a litany of syringes, pills, locked doors, temperature gauges, and more. All in service of stopping Charm turning into a monstrous porcupine. Something that happens when she gets either to hot or to cold.

Faith works hard at keeping Charm’s temperature in a small safe zone, but their relationship is heavily strained, obviously, while she attempts to find a cure.

To make matters worse, a hefty blizzard is causing chaos, something is stalking the house outside, and two strangers have been caught in it. Desperate to get out of the cold, Liz and her brother Kory break in, and the latter’s knee runs straight into a spiked bat swung by Faith.

With the blizzard raging outside, and Kory unable to walk, Faith has no choice but to let them stay. Demanding that they stay away from Charm as she has a fever and is prone to psychotic episodes. Of course, their curiousness gets the better of them, and when they meet Charm they begin to suspect she might need their help.

Charm’s temperature is rising though, and she’s about had enough of hiding the monster inside.

That should be all A Creature Was Stirring is. A monster movie that puts a group of people together, fighting for survival, and at first, that is all it seems to be. However, as the film goes on, more and more half-baked elements are dropped in, and most of them make no sense. Elements such as mental health, religious belief, and addiction. In an attempt to make these characters relatable, A Creature Was Stirring makes them all completely unbelievable.

Every character has hidden motives, every character has secrets, and every character has a twist attached to them. It isn’t just frustrating, it’s really annoying. The baffling attempt to create constant subterfuge stops the film being entertaining.

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Which is such a shame as it has so much going for it, in places. Firstly, the cast are excellent, and they are all really watchable. Then there is the cinematography, which drenches the entire movie in garish colours, and the effects, which are really strong – both CGI and practical. Charm’s eventual transformation is excellently done.

This movie can’t be faulted for its acting or its visuals, it all comes down to the bloody script. It’s a really investible movie for around 30 minutes, and then it slowly starts to fall apart as more and more plot elements are fed in. Which leads to an ending that is so bad, it almost needs to be seen to be believed. A final twist that no-one could ever have seen coming because it simply makes no sense in the context of what was just seen. Even though, through flashbacks, it tries really hard to make it seem possible.

So, the end result is something that can be rightfully called disappointing. It has so much promise, but is let down by a poor story with way too many moving parts.


  • Carl Fisher

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A Creature Was Stirring (2023)
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