TERRIBLE TUESDAYS: DVD REVIEW: SLAUGHTER

slaughter

SLAUGHTER

Release date: Sept. 22

 

Label: E1 Entertainment

 

The plot: Faith (Amy Shiels) is on the run from her abusive boyfriend Jimmy (Vance Daniels) when she meets Lola (Lucy Holt) in a bar. The two young women hit it off, and Faith takes Lola up on her offer to work on and stay at her family’s pig farm for the summer. But Faith starts wondering where the older men Lola picks up on their excursions into the city go the morning after. Could it have something to do with Lola’s father’s slaughterhouse, which he forbids strangers to enter?

 

Thoughts: Despite being saddled with both a garish title and DVD cover art, Slaughter is a half-way engaging debut from writer-director Stewart Hopewell, who channels both the Southern Gothic atmosphere of William Faulkner as well as the torture porn aesthetic of Eli Roth’s oeuvre.

But slaughter, fortunately, is not Hopewell’s sole raison d’être. Instead, he’s crafted a thriller whose power comes not from wholesale carnage (although there is a rather discomfiting meeting between teeth and pliers) but the sadness and despair of his characters’ situation. Neither Shiels or Holt give truly powerful performances, but we believe their friendship and the horror when it goes bad.

 

Extras: ‘The Making of Slaughter’, a self-explanatory featurette which details the film’s production in Bucharest, Romania, including the fact that it was filmed on land owned by a local monastery.

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