HoTS Exclusive Review: Stirring (2018)

This time of year people want to get into a holiday spirit. They celebrate “Christmas in July”. I felt the best way to jump into that pool by reviewing an upcoming film. The movie is Stirring, written and directed by Troy Escamilla. The alternative title can be found as Mrs. Claus. Escamilla had the 2017 slasher Party Night and follows it with this Christmas slasher. Stirring has a very 80s feel to it, and we will discuss that. Let’s jump into the non-spoiler plot.

Stirring (2018)

The film begins with a sorority during pledge week. The sisters convince pledge Angela to perform some tasks to obtain admittance into the sorority. The movie fast forwards to Christmas and the Delta Sigma Sigma house is hosting a party. Angela and Amber (the alpha female of the group) exchange gifts. Amber’s gift to Angela is a painful reminder of pledge week. This is merely a sorority prank. Angela in a rage that night kills Amber and then herself.

Stirring (2018)Stirring (2018)

 

 

 

 

 

Stirring now moves ten years into the future. Amber’s sister Danielle joins the same sorority and constantly gets questioned about it. The general consensus seems to favor that she may have made a bad choice in joining Delta Sigma Sigma. The sorority house plans for it’s annual Christmas party. What the sisters do not know is that someone claiming to be Mrs. Claus is against this and emails Danielle. The email, set to the poem the “A Vist From St. Nicholas”, appears to be a warning about celebrating Christmas in that house.

Stirring (2018)

The party goes off as planned, with one hiccup. Sophie has been reported missing by her mother. Sophie left the house the night before and was murdered in one of the most creative Christmas horror film kills to date. Mrs. Claus garroted Sophie with Christmas lights from the back seat of Sophie’s car.

Stirring (2018)

Danielle then receives an unexpected visit from Angela’s mother, Mrs. Werner and let’s just say she is not there to wish Danielle a Merry Christmas.

Stirring (2018)

Mrs. Claus goes on her killing spree, murdering several party goers with holiday flare. A campus police officer informs the party that Sophie is missing and to stay close by. From here, as a viewer, you will form ideas in your head as to who the killer is. However, like all great slashers, there is a twist or two.

Now that you have an idea of the plot, here are my thoughts. Stirring hits a home run for execution but does not go over the top with effects. Its critics will claim to have seen this before but need to pump the breaks. While Stirring does have some similarities to Silent Night, Deadly Night, it is not the same movie. In fact, Stirring references the 1984 classic in dialogue. Stirring pays homage to the classics but stands alone.

Stirring (2018) / Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

The movie hits my three musts for a great slasher: gore, cheesy dialogue, and creative kills. It pays tribute without ripping off any films and has plot twists of its own. Two names horror fans will recognize immediately are icons Brinke Stevens and Helene Udy. They both deliver extremely memorable performances and will leave fans smiling. They prove why they have longevity in horror and deserve praise for their portrayals.

Writer and director Troy Escamilla also recently won Best Director at the Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival in May. The film debuts on November 13, 2018, but some fans can see it early. Stirring has been selected for the 2018 Scares That Care Weekend in Williamsburg, VA. The movie is available for pre-order through Amazon currently. All in all, this movie hits a home run and comes highly recommended.

Stirring (2018) / Image: Troy Escamilla

Overall Grade: A+




Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint

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