A Creature Was Stirring (2023) 

Coming to Blu-ray and DVD February 13th from Well Go USA 

During a blizzard, a duo breaks into a nurse’s house where she’s taking care of her daughter with an unusual affliction. Soon, things take a turn for the worse and everyone involved is forced to fight for their lives. 

Written by Shannon Wells and directed by Damien LeVeck, A Creature Was Stirring takes its setting at Christmas time and makes it a mere background item thankfully, making it easy to ignore it mostly when watching the film outside of that period. That being said, the film is a mix of family drama, potential creature feature, and home invasion with some touches of religion proselytization (kinda, not too much), with sibling rivalry, mother-daughter connection/disconnection, drugs, etc. There is a ton here, making it seem like it could be too much, but the film makes the most of most of it. The religious, saving of souls bit is thankfully minimal, so those not of the faith shouldn’t find it too invasive. The story here develops well, with some interesting twists and turns, and a reveal that feels, well, out of place. The very end of the film feels like it doesn’t belong with the rest of the film, and it creates plot holes and copouts.  

The cast here is solid with Chrissy Metz in the lead doing great things with her part, giving the character depth and mystery, making her very much a dimensional human. Playing her daughter, Annalise Basso does great with the time she gets on screen. Her part is central to the plot and she does very well with it. Coming in as the two home invaders are Scout Taylor-Compton and Connor Paolo who both bring different energies to the film and the story, adding to the situation and their characters in ways that keep the interest throughout. The cast here is solid no matter what happens around them or on the screen.  

The film has a fantastic look here, making a great use of the Holiday lights throughout the house and of the smaller spaces when they happen. The film has a very colorful look while being a dark story and having some scenes where the light is rather limited. The light and how the cinematography by Alexander Chinnici makes the most out of them while creating some truly beautiful sequences. The film looks stunning even in its darker scenes, something no easy to do and something many skip on for the sake of looking more gritty. This film does away with that gritty look and goes full on colorful for a lot of its running time and it is something to be thankful for. 

Now, given the title and the hint that this may be a creature feature (maybe, maybe not), the special effects have to be looked at and they are good. The work done under special effects supervisor John Travisano are solid here and they show that there is a care for the look of the film and the effectiveness of the work put on screen. 

A Creature Was Stirring is a solid horror thriller film with a great cast and a fantastic look to it. The ending is a bit disappointing/deceiving for those who would be hoping for something different, but the overall effect of the film work and makes it something to check out even outside of the Holiday season.