Christmas time, the time of year when we are all try to do a little more, be a little nicer, and do good onto others. Director and Writer Rebekah McKendry has just done that by giving us the most wonderful gift, a new sinister horror holiday anthology All The Creatures Were Stirring. Rebekah has quite the impressive resume, she is an award-winning television and film director and she has a doctorate focused in Media Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, a MA in Film Studies from City University of New York, and a second MA from Virginia Tech in Media Education. Rebekah is no stranger to horror journalism as she has served as the Editor-in-chief for Blumhouse and as the Director of Marketing for the world famous Fangoria Magazine. Rebekah currently serves as a professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts and is a current co-host to Blumhouse’s Shock Waves podcast.

Rebekah’s husband David Ian McKendry also served as a director and writer on All The Creatures Were Stirring, and that makes for some great conversation! I had the pleasure of speaking to this incredible talent about her new feature. Check out our interview below.

Interview With Rebekah McKendry

Via iMDB

Ryan Thomas Cusick: Hi Rebekah!

Rebekah McKendry: Hi Ryan! How are you doin?

RTC: I’m great, how are you?

RM: I am doin well, it is a very rainy day in Los Angeles, aside from that, I am doin well!

RTC: Yeah, I was going to ask you if you were enjoying this rain. [Laughs]

RM: I am looking outside right now, and it’s downpouring! My dog refuses to go outside, I don’t want to go outside either but I am going to have to in a bit. These days it only happen like four times a year and I am always like, “Damn rain!” [Laughs]

RTC: Yup, and when its not here we want it.

RTC: All The Creatures Were Stirring was great, Christmas time is getting to the point where I enjoy watching the Christmas horror films more than I do so around Halloween.

RM: I love that. People are making these lists of the best Christmas Horror that we have been ending up on, which is awesome. But then just looking at the list its like “My God there is a lot of Christmas Horror and they are damn good.” It is just a fun time period to tackle, Christmas is wonderful but there is a definitely a sinister side to it as well.

RTC: There definitely is a dark side to it. I think you captured that, just in your introduction with your two characters going to the theatre, captures that loneliness, the two of them meeting up, to fill that void on Christmas Eve. I really enjoyed that.

RM: Oh thanks! Dave [McKendry] and I started to think about our first Christmas in Los Angeles, we had lived in New York city for years prior and it was within driving distance of our family home. We were used to this kind of snowy home for the holidays, family, Grandma and everyone eating turkey and mashed potatoes, bad sweaters Christmas. We got to Los Angeles and couldn’t afford to go back our first year and you just and it was just weird! It was like a ghost town, everyone that was here was like orphans, Christmas orphans. We all hung out together and BBQ in my backyard because it was like eighty-five degrees on Christmas Day, it was just a completely different vibe for us so it was an interesting starting point, “well its Christmas, I can’t get home, so umm, yeah we should hang out because its Christmas and I feel like we need to do something.” We thought that was an interesting starting point for it.

Via RLJE Films

RTC: You did capture that, I picked up on it right away. Out of the five stories the first two were my absolute favorite.

RM: I love hearing that from people! That’s the interesting thing about an anthology, as soon as people see they are inclined, which is great, to say which one is their favorite, and which one is their least favorite, which is cool, I think is fun because no one ever says the same one for either of those. Every single segment has been someone’s favorite and has also been someone’s least favorite. I then look at them and say “well did great with the parking lot segment,” I love that one. Other people are like, “I didn’t like it, you didn’t explain anything. Where does that monster come from? Why does he live in a van?”

Both: [Laugh]

RM: I just love how polarizing these have become.

RTC: I think the first one, ‘All The Stockings Were Hung’ is about workplace bullying, workplace violence, it was great, and it caught me off guard. [Laughs] It really did! When the first gift was open, I said, “Oh Shit!” We are going to be in for a ride.  

RM: We were hoping that would get some people because Chase Williamson we had worked with him before. Chase had starred in a short that we did and so our idea was to put him as one of the top billed on the movie and then kill him within like thirty seconds! We just loved that element and Chase was totally fine with it.

RTC: You and your husband co-wrote and co-directed the film, did the two of you have any creative differences or did everything just flow?

RM: Oh my gosh we always do! Oh Lord no, we argue about everything and that is kind of our process. When Morgan [Peter Brown] and Joe [Wicker] told us that they wanted to purchase the concept and they wanted to fund and get the investments, immediately Dave and I started generating ideas. When we pitched it we had three segments done that were included in the pitch and they took it based on that and we ended up only using one of the segments that we originally pitched. From there, once Dave and I had the green light on it we just started generating segments and I think that we created twenty of them, knowing that we would only do five. We went through and pick and chose the concepts that would fit within our budget range and that also we had access to. We had to look at what we had capabilities to do within our budget range and from there that is when Dave and I really started digging in on the script. [Laughs] The way that Dave and I write, is usually he’ll come up with something and i’ll come up with something and then we’ll spend a couple of hours really arguing over it before we realize that we are both really wrong and then we’ll come up with something completely different. That arguing process, we have to have that creative difference to get to what will work. It is just the way that we work. We call it “passion.” Dave and I find it very rewarding, just arguing over stupid minutiae in the script until we both discover that we are completely going in the wrong direction and then we come up with something together. We don’t even call it arguing, we call it “passionate discussion.”

RTC: I like that!

RM: If we’re not passionate about it, if we approach the concept and we are both like ‘meh, it will work” its probably not that great, and neither of us are really passionate about it enough to argue it.


Via RLJE Films

RTC: Do you have anything in the future that you are going to be working on? Anymore features? Can we expect a sequel?

RM: We would love to do a sequel eventually. Right now we just wrapped on a second feature that I did through Producer Buz Wallick through MarVista Entertainment. It is a thriller, and even though it is a thriller it has a really high body count, I beat someone to death with a teapot in it.

RTC: oh, WOW!

RM: That was pretty fun and I stab someone in the neck with knitting needles, even though it is more of a thriller more than a supernatural horror, it is super fun! We just wrapped that, we are in post on it now and hopefully it will be coming somewhere in early 2019. Dave did a pass on the script for that so it does have some of his comedic voice in it. Dave and I are just pitching around, we have pitch meetings and we are attached to projects that we cannot talk about yet and that we are hoping will get greenlit. If not, like I said, we created a lot of segments for creatures and we have a lot of ideas that we didn’t get to use. So if there is a sequel I would be excited as hell to get the team back together to be able to do this again.

RTC: Very exciting! Again, congratulations, and thank you so much.

RM: Oh my gosh, thank you and stay dry!