Actually really wanted to like 'Slaughterhouse Rulez'. There have been many great horror/comedy films, the cast and premise sounded promising and the advertising was attention-grabbing. Have also liked to love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's previous collaborations, especially 'Shaun of the Dead', and think they work great together and really shine individually when the material is good.
'Slaughterhouse Rulez' turned out to be a bitter disappointment. Not one of the very worst films of 2018 (miles away from being one of the best though) but one of the most underwhelming ones. And in a way that's really frustrating because it had so much potential and had all the ingredients to work, more so than quite a lot of films this year. This was an example of a film that should not have gone wrong with the amount of things it had going for it, but did so relatively big time with severely wanting execution in most areas.
There is not an awful lot sadly that's good. Actually thought that the film briefly started off reasonably well, there is a little foreboding mixed with a little amusement and angst. The momentum does pick up a little towards the end, after having to wait too long to get there with the rest of the film being as flawed as it is.
Found too there was the odd amusing moment, like the "I don't want to die..." lines and some early foreboding. The school is a nice atmospheric setting, some of the film is well shot and the cast do try gamely.
However, there is too much that works against 'Slaughterhouse Rulez'. The story is just all over the place, with a very disjointed structure and mixture of tones and gets increasingly muddled and disconnected. Too many threads come out of the blue, resolve too easily and hastily and nothing really is done with them, there are some one questions why they are even there. The orgy scene was very strange, random and very out of place. The cast do try their best but the material, Crispian Mills' inexperienced-feeling (and this was actually his second film) direction and shallow characters work against them. Pegg and Frost's chemistry has been far more natural in their other collaborations and likewise with their performances, while Michael Sheen is wasted. Asa Butterfield (who doesn't come off too badly) fares best here.
Much of the film doesn't look particularly appealing, with effects that look like they would even look out of date in the 50s and editing that is so chaotic and dizzying that it did make me physically ill. 'Slaughterhouse Rulez' doesn't work well as either a comedy or horror and don't work any better together. Apart from the odd amusing moment the comedy is predictable and often cheap with little signs of wit. Meanwhile the horror elements fall completely flat, again because of predictability but also because of a lack of suspense or creepiness, it also would have helped if the monsters actually looked good, had some kind of personality and were used less. 'Slaughterhouse Rulez' also tries to throw in some other elements, found the satirical elements nowhere near sharp enough and the social commentary and environmental awareness aspect heavy-handed and muddled the film further. The whole film felt disjointed, over-stuffed and tonally messy.
Overall, not a waste of time but it is one of the year's biggest potential wastes. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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