From the director of the “horror”-comedy A Fantastic Fear of Everything, comes Slaughterhouse Rulez, another horror-fantasy-comedy that mostly parodies the Harry Potter films.
The movie takes place at an illustrious British boarding school that, soon enough, appears to be way stranger than your average college. As this wasn’t bad enough for our main character (a group of students a la Harry Potter and his gang), the school also becomes a bloody battleground when a mysterious sinkhole appears at a nearby fracking site, unleashing some creatures that are hungry for flesh and blood.
You can click on the image below to watch the movie in HD on Amazon, although this is not a film I would recommend.
In fact, Slaughterhouse Rulez is a rather convoluted and messy movie. Its main problems revolve around the script (or the story in general, if you will), the presentation and the effects.
Continue reading and check my final grade below…
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Arguably, the most important part of the movie is its story: Slaughterhouse Rulez tries very hard to set up a universe and a wide set of characters without realising that, by doing this, the main storyline becomes extremely unfocused and sloppy. As a result, besides having 45 minutes of build-up where nothing relevant really happens, the characters are all one-dimensional: fortunately for the film, when you have actors like Margot Robbie (in a brief cameo, actually), Michael Sheen, Nick Frost and, especially, Simon Pegg, the acting will always be great, and the line delivery will hide the stupidity of the script.
Throughout the first act, the only thing that kept me watching the film was the humour: it’s rather juvenile and, after a while, repetitive but the actors seem having a lot of fun and most of the big names have enough charisma to make you chuckle a couple of times.
With such a messy storyline that tries to spoof one too many popular movies, the presentation suffers immensely. Slaughterhouse Rulez keeps jumping back and forth from a set of characters to the others, with at times jarring editing choices and misplaced soundtrack. The biggest problem, however, regards the tone: watching Slaughterhouse Rulez feels like watching two different movies in one, and not in a good way. The first part of the film is a straight-up raunchy comedy, with hit-and-miss jokes, whereas the second part turns into a creature-feature gore fest that occasionally relies on very bad humour.
Although I was pleasantly surprised by the creature design, which looks quite well done, the gory/bloody bits and the presence of the creature(s) is shamefully ruined by terrible lighting (you can’t make out what’s going on), awful editing (with constant cuts that make impossible to enjoy the gore), and poorly rendered CGI whenever the action tries to go on a larger scale.
Granted, not everything in Slaughterhouse Rulez is terrible or messy.
Besides what I said before about the acting (which is all-around solid) and the cool creature design, Simon Pegg is, as always, a light that shines in the dark sky. All his jokes are hilarious, even when they wouldn’t be if delivered by another person, purely because he’s a master at what he does.
The production values are really good and, combined with some cool locations and sets, make the movie at least pleasant to watch from a visual standpoint. Also, besides the first 45 minutes and despite its relatively long runtime, Slaughterhouse Rulez is never boring: it’s action packed and something always happens, although most of the times it’s something nonsensical or badly executed. This movie is like a real-life train wreck: it’s bad and sad, but you can’t take your eyes away from it for some morbid reason.
Finally, as my good pal Kieron pointed out to me before I watched the film, the end credits are the funniest part of the film. They’re genuinely hilarious!
To sum it up, Slaughterhouse Rulez is a very disappointing mess. It’s got some redeeming qualities that saves it from being worthless, but not enough to consider it anything more than a half decent watch. Given its cast and production values, it’s truly a shame that the movie turned out as subpar as it is, so I wouldn’t recommend renting it for 10 dollars. If you really want to watch it, just wait for the prices to go down.
Slaughterhouse Rulez 4.5/10
One last note: you might think that I have been too harsh in my final grade but let me explain why it’s so low. Objectively, the movie could easily get a 5/10 or even a 6/10. However, all things considered (hence, the awesome cast, premise and the £5,000,000 budget), the end result is really as bad as it could get: if this was the same movie with some shitty actors and made on a £500,000 budget, I would be much more forgiving.
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