And on the eleventh day of our 12 Days of Christmas Carnage, it’s low-budget slasher All Through The House. Todd Nunes wrote and directed this DIY-indie horror movie that enjoyed some success on the festival circuit. Yes, it’s one of growing number of horror movies basking in ‘80’s film-making aesthetics. But can All Through The House do it enough distinguish itself from all these slasher redux movies?
Fifteen years ago, tragedy struck a small California neighbourhood. Five-year-old Jamie Garrett mysteriously disappeared from her family home. Just across the street, young Rachel Kimmel’s mother walked away from her family, never to be heard from again. Now a college student, Rachel returns home for Christmas. In an act yuletide kindness, Rachel and her friends agree to help decorate the lonely Mrs. Garrett’s home. But a crazed killer dressed as Santa Claus is leaving a trail of bodies, and the path that leads directly to the Garrett house.
All Through The House is An Xmas Knockoff
Clearly, Todd Nunes is a fan of the slasher movie sub-genre. To be honest, All Through The House is not so much a homage to slasher as it is a facsimile. Bits and pieces of much better 80’s horror movies are stitched here and there. On the one hand, horror fans will be most reminded of Silent Night, Deadly Night and Sleepaway Camp. Yet observant horror nerds will also see shades of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and some Maniac laced into the movie as well.
And oh boy, Nune’s twist shamelessly steals from Sleepaway Camp.
Sadly, Nunes fails to arrange any of these borrowed ideas into a coherent plot. Nunes introduces story elements early and then curiously forgets them later in the movie. In addition, characters with no tangible connection to the main story are introduced, only to be killed minutes later. And oh boy, Nune’s twist shamelessly steals from Sleepaway Camp. All Through The House is a body count slasher with little internal logic.
Impressive DIY-Gore Effects and Loads of Random Nudity
Fortunately, Nunes understands All Through The House is a body count horror movie and delivers. In spite of its low budge, this Xmas turkey boasts some impressive practical gore effects. Body count victims may have no connection to the story whatsoever, but this movie’s deranged Santa Killer gets them real good. There’s no CGI-blood or quick edits that cut away from the violence. This Killer Santa mutilates, slashers, and slices in glorious blood red. Santa even cuts off not one, but two penises. Trust me, it’s actually tied to the movie’s twist. And there’s loads of random, pointless nudity to fill in those gaps between kills.
It’s a good thing All Through The House gets the blood and guts rights, because that’s where most of the budget got allotted.
It’s a good thing All Through The House gets the blood and guts right, because that’s where most of the budget got allotted. Everything else about this horror movie is clearly bargain bin budget. Though no boom mic’s make appearances, the sound occasionally doesn’t match the scene. Moreover, the cast turns in performances more wooden than a department store nutcracker. Jessica Cameron, an experienced Scream Queen, exits far too quickly.
All Through The House is For Die-Hard Slasher Fans Only
Die-hard slasher fans may enjoy All Through the House’s rampant nudity and gross-out kills. However, everyone else will hope the movie comes with a gift receipt. Though one might argue that things get interesting when the movie’s story story goes completely off the rails at the climax. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this 2015 slasher is that the 80’s redux approach to horror is becoming tiresome. This New Year’s, horror directors should resolve to try something new.