Review: Stirring (2018)

The 2017 Christmas season has come and gone, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a new Christmas Horror movie, right?

In 2016 we had the chance to review Troy Escamilla’s first feature, Party Night and since the announcement, we have been waiting to see Stirring.  This summer I had the chance to meet Troy and talk a little about his newest film, Stirring.  He offered a couple of spoilers as I tried to press him for as much on the project as I could.  I could tell by his excitement Stirring, like Party Night is going to be a kind of “passion project”.  Especially knowing one of his favorite horror films of all time is Black Christmas, so knowing that, he was going to dig in and make a Christmas horror film.

First thing I want to mention, the “cold opening” is terrific and really sets the tone for the film.  The movie begins at a sorority house with an initiation prank and some straight up bullying by the Queen B off Delta Sigma Sigma.  This prank proves to be deadly.  The film picks up 10 years later on the former Queen B’s younger sister is now apart of the sorority.  It is just before Christmas and the girls of Delta Sigma Sigma are getting ready for their Christmas party.  But something sinister lurks around the sorority house.

So, now the question is, what did I think of this movie.  As I said, I really enjoyed the beginning of the film.  The subtle and ominous Christmas score was fantastic and along with the set decorations really did set the tone and feeling for the movie.  The gore effects are great, there is a scene Troy told me about and it is really well executed, it involves a candy cane, that is all I will say.  But the gore and the blood are dialed up from Party Night.  With that said, Party Night was a fun Indie horror movie, but Stirring is a huge step for Troy Escamilla.  The story telling and multiple twists keep you on your toes while watching the movie.

The characters in the film have a good amount of depth and I have to say the familiar faces from Party Night are a welcome addition to this film.  But one of the most enjoyable things are the effects by Heather Benson.  Her effects were realistic and not to crazy, but not subtle either.  There are some terrific kills and plenty of blood for the gore hounds.

Stirring doesn’t currently have a score on, but it will soon.  Troy literally finished cutting this together a few days ago.

I give Stiring a solid 7.0, it is a good horror film and it is bonus that it takes place on Christmas.  We have seen a lot of Chirstmas horror lately and Stirring stands out to me. Billy Brannigan, Ryan Poole and Drew Shotwell were great, Drew had some hilariously choice lines, while Ryan Poole has stepped up his acting game.  Bill Brannigan plays the role of the supportive boyfriend perfectly, I really like these guys.  Helene Udy has a small role, but super effective and another 80s slasher actress, Brinke Stevens is casted well.  But the true standouts are the three guys I mentioned before and like Lauren Topel from Party Night, Kaylee Willaims stands out over all.

Over the course of 2018, you will probably get the chance to see Stirring at different horror conventions and film festivals.  It is worth a viewing for sure.  Not to say anything negative about Party Night, but I really like Stirring more.  Thanks Troy and Congrats on the movie.

About Ray Marek III 273 Articles
Who am I? I am a widower now, father of two amazing children. I co-created the website, Nightfall Unlimited with a good friend of mine. Nightfall Unlimited was a great learning experience for me and I learned a lot from so many great people. I had the chance to dip my toes into blogging and even social networking. Now, we are here, the Horror Syndicate is nearly a year old and we are having fun! There is so much more about me. I hate this phrase, but I am an aspiring comic book writer. Problems with finding artists and getting published have held me back. Writing comics has been a dream for, well as long as I can remember. Now I am writing with a great team, Apogee Comics and hopefully we will make some noise in the same way Image comics did in the 1990s. One day, Rage of Rayzor and the Horror Syndicate will lead me to my dream. Support me, by sharing this site, liking and sharing posts, even following me on twitter would help @Rayzor_33. But you want to know about the horror…right? I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. When my little brother was 2, I was 10, so were talking 1990. He was introduced to Halloween and I made him believe Haddonfield, IL was a real place. We lived in Illinois at the time and this terrified him. After the intial shock, he grew older and more interested in horror films. When he was 8, we went to the local video store and made our way to the horror section. We started with Alien and worked our way through the alphabet of horror. That day we basically started our course in horror. Since then, I have built a nice horror film collection of my own and started a Facebook Horror Group, The Horror Movie Massacre. I wrote for Nightfall and Rage of Rayzor, realized there is a lot of horror content I wanted to put out. So, I drafted some fellow horror fans to make a site, run by fans, for fans and here we are. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)