All Through the House (2021)

The monster looms closer
This certainly isn’t Santa!

On a snowy Christmas Eve, a young brother and sister quietly sneak downstairs to hopefully get a fleeting glimpse of Santa as he leaves presents under the christmas tree. But they actually discover that ol’ Saint Nick is a grotesque-looking, raw-fleshed, toothy creature!

The creature lurks behind the christmas tree
What’s lurking behind the christmas tree?

ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE is a 7 minute episode from the second season of Netflix’s animated anthology series LOVE, DEATH + ROBOTS and it wonderfully mixes cuteness with creepiness.

The creature knows if you've been good...
The creature knows if you’ve been good…

Directed by Elliot Dear, this animated short from Blink Industries first hints that we’re not going to see your typical Mr Clause when a long, prehensile probe-tongue snakes onto the screen to suck up the milk and snatch away the cookies that’ve been left out for hungry Santa!

The tongue-tentacle appears...
The tongue-tentacle appears

The gift-giving creature is a marvellous creation: it has a toothy maw reminiscent of the eyeless, tooth-faced alien from THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983), mixed with some overlong forelegs that make it look a little like the critter in CLOVERFIELD (2008). Actually, this festive beastie also reminds me quite a bit of the large, pink-skinned thing featured in METAMORPHOSIS: THE ALIEN FACTOR (1990). This santa-beast also possesses human-like arms & hands that it uses in an amusing, expressive way!

The weird creature approaches...
The weird creature approaches the kids
Jazz hands!

Anyway – regardless of exactly which previous movie monsters reminded me of this episode’s cool, novel-looking creature – ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE proves to be a short, sweet, semi-scary treat that reveals how we actually get our presents: a xenomorph-like monster vomits-up the perfectly-wrapped gifts in a stream of saliva!

The creature holds a gift
This is for you…

At the end of the story the creature growls the children’s names as it coughs-up their presents, tells them that they’re good, then crawls up the chimney. Once the beast has gone the sister is left to ask the question: what would’ve happened if they hadn’t been good?

the creature gets close
Close encounter…
…with a very nice-lookin’ critter

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