I love British horror. We all do. Why else would you be on this website? Or reading this review? So, I was very happy to see Slaughterhouse Rulez hit our screens.
Having seen the trailer only once, a long time ago, I went into this screening clueless regarding the plot.
However, I did remember the film features the crème de la crème of British talent, including The Cornetto Trilogy founders Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who are also Executive Producers. The excellent Michael Sheen stars as the Headmaster and a couple of The Inbetweeners actors also appear.
Slaughterhouse Rulez is a horror comedy that follows new boy, (“you’re so northern”) Donald Wallace (Finn Cole) as he joins the elite boarding school, Slaughterhouse to please his mother and dead father.
Aside from having to deal with bullies, Latin lessons and an unrequited crush, Don (Ducky) and his schoolmates also need to fight monsters that overtake the school when a fracking company dig too deep, unleashing a terror kept silent for years.
And they’re hungry. Very hungry.
“Headmaster, it was a lake of fire”
Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy Slaughterhouse Rulez. I really wanted to. All the ingredients are there. But it just doesn’t work.
There are a couple of gory and gross moments. Some of the dialogue is clever. The car scene is entertaining. There’s a pretty cool explosion. And the end credits are stylishly done.
But the biggest problem is, it’s not funny. Or entertaining. And the monsters aren’t scary.
I also don’t care about any of the characters. Even when they’re having an emotional moment or going through a tough time, it feels flat, one-dimensional and under-explored.
“I’m gonna die in Greek sandals”
My least favourite character is the baddie, Clegg who is modelled on Malfoy from Harry Potter. He is a pantomime villain who actually “blacks up” when he goes into battle mode. I found this distasteful and unnecessary.
My favourite character was Frost’s, Woodrow “Woody” Chapman who plays a stoned hippy protesting against the fracking. But it’s still lazy, stereotypical characterisation.
“Rage against the… machine?”
The themes touch upon bullying, suicide, sexuality and the usual north/south divide, which should add depth to your usual run of the mill horror comedy but even these issues miss their mark.
It feels juvenile and glossed over, using these issues simply to push the story forward. It’s a wasted opportunity to say more about the current state of our country. Although Don sums it up pretty well: “No wonder the country’s f***ed. It’s being run by these k***heads.”
“The ecstasy of death”
To go from Shaun of the Dead, one of the greatest zombie films ever made to this, Pegg and Frost have either lost it or they just don’t care.
I will always support British horror and I urge you to do the same. But I also believe that we should always be producing material that is challenging and says something about the world we live in. Or is just damn entertaining.
If you do go see Slaughterhouse Rulez, do what I did and see the new Halloween straight after – it’s a much better film.
By Cat Dunn
If you’re keen to know more about the latest upcoming horror films, you can see a full playlist of the newest horror trailers on our youtube page. Here you’ll also find a list of some of the best ‘free to watch’ horror films, and our favourite short films from LHS alumni too! Don’t forget to subscribe now!