Director: Todd Nunes
Writer: Todd Nunes
Producer: Stephen J. Readmond, Christopher Stanley
Stars: Ashley Mary Nunes, Melynda Kiring, Natalie Montera, Danica Riner, Lito Velasco, Jason Ray Schumacher, Cathy Garrett, Jennifer Wenger, Jessica Cameron
A killer in a Santa Claus mask terrorizes the hometown of a young woman who has returned to uncover a hidden family secret.
As of this writing, “All Through the House” has a 5.5 user rating on IMDb. That actually isn’t bad for a B-grade slasher.
Not so fast. A whopping 383 out of 936 voters scored the movie a perfect 10/10. What that statistic expects us to believe is 41% of everyone who rated “All Through the House” supposedly considers it an all-time great. To put in perspective why that should smell like a trash bag full of Filet-O-Fish sandwiches rotting in triple-digit heat, only 23% of “Halloween” voters put that classic on par with being flawless and just 14% feels the same about “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
“All Through the House” links to over 50 external reviews. That’s a considerable amount of coverage for low-budget indie horror. Now take a look. Several reviews are repeats, sometimes listing a website with spaces in its name and then relisting it as one word, or doubling up an author with a second credit that spells a name in lowercase letters. Another person contributed reviews to more than one site.
I’m not familiar with a majority of the outlets cited. Oh, Fangoria! Finally a critic whose name I recognize. Let’s give it a click and… it isn’t a review at all. It’s a PR photo gallery with zero subjective commentary.
Sweet Christmas. I’ll turn to user reviews instead. One of the perfect tens is nothing but praise, except the writer’s join date only goes back two months, to the exact time this one and only review was posted. That doesn’t appear on the up and up.
Alright, another perfect ten comes from someone who has been registered with IMDb for two years. Maybe this will… never mind. “All Through the House” is also his sole review and his only other activity across 24 months is posting three message board comments in defense of the film.
Yep. Nothing disingenuous going on here with suspicious accolades. Unaffiliated fans commonly take initiative in organized ballot stuffing without any influence from filmmakers, their friends, or their families whatsoever. Sure.
In a different circumstance, I would have been more forgiving of the film’s faults. But this kind of bullsh*t is automatic evidence that instead of receiving benefit, doubts should come with contempt. If producers and/or distributors think so little of you and I that smoke and mirrors is a viable way worth winning an audience’s time and money, I’m going to regard their product with an equal amount of disrespect.
A killer Claus is on the loose in a town populated by people so dry and wooden, they could be used for kindling a yuletide fire. “All Through the House” has a premise and design ripe for dark comedy, if only its characters could find personality that doesn’t come from colorful costumes or makeup befitting “The Drew Carey Show’s” Mimi. And if only its acting was intentionally ironic instead of just tonelessly flat.
While this masked maniac kills scantily-clad women and castrates their men, Rachel has returned home for the holidays to a mystery with slightly less murder. Odd neighbor Mrs. Garrett has a habit of whispering to the creepy mannequins kept in her home. With the weird way granny refuses to divulge details, Rachel is connecting dots that her own hidden history may relate to the Garrett family’s missing members.
Of course, the killer Claus cannot be a coincidence. As severed penises pile up in Santa’s sack, Rachel and her friends enter a Noel nightmare where secret pasts, presents, and futures are poised to collide for everyone involved.
“All Through the House” bills itself as a throwback to 80s VHS horror, yet fails to understand that being tasteless, cheap, and gory doesn’t make it homage. It’s merely tasteless, cheap, and gory. Achieving a cheesiness factor through edgy direction, in-the-know-acting, and sincere style is one thing. Acquiring a B-movie grade through sloppy schlockiness is not the same at all.
“All Through the House” desperately wishes it were clever, though nothing in the plot or production fulfills that desire. The best to be said about the film is it functions as a supreme slaughter fest. To that end, gushing blood from garden shears to the gut, face, and even a boob is likely to meet with boisterous approval from diehard gore fiends. Be prepared for plenty of bloody dongs too, since dismembering dicks is the killer’s m.o. If none of this floats your boat, then the only fate for you is drowning in a flood of splatter and story made even sillier by poor pacing, poorer performances, and a poorhouse approach to making a micro-budget fright flick.
Based on the tip of the fraud iceberg outlined above, you don’t need an honest review to tell you “All Through the House” doesn’t deserve attention. Good movies market themselves on merit, not made-up fantasies designed to mislead. Terrible movies resort to terrible tactics to trump themselves up. Which category do you think best fits this movie’s limp lick at slasher cinema?
Review Score: 30