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Case Number 16048

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Slaughter

Lionsgate // 2009 // 96 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 1st, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson can't think of a fun play on words for "slaughter." Suggestions appreciated.

The Charge

Find a good hiding place.

Opening Statement

Apparently this was inspired by true events. How come I find that hard to believe?

Facts of the Case

Faith has gone into seclusion, hoping to escape the reach of her abusive boyfriend. All she wants is a life of anonymity. And maybe a new friend. A friend would be cool. Her new BFF ultimately comes in the form of Lola, a hard-partying farm girl. The two hit it off and Faith moves into the farmhouse.

But who would have guessed that there's something oddly sinister going on? Faith notices the guys that Lola is bringing home from the clubs end up disappearing and that maybe Lola's crazy-ass father and brother might have something to do with the malfeasance.

The Evidence

There are some nifty moments in Slaughter. Nifty and truly unsettling. These bits may in fact be enough to make the film one to remember for thriller fans. I don't quite fall into that category. Despite the memorable horror elements (three words: forced dental work), Slaughter ended up as a mediocre outing, plagued by lethargic pacing, a lukewarm story, and an unsatisfactory climax.

Let's not be overly cynical. First, the good. Both Lucy Holt and Amy Shiels do good work as the two leads. They both play exceedingly emotionally damaged characters and do so convincingly. When the rubber meets the road for a twist-heavy, violent home stretch, each actress is forced to take on a whole new dramatic persona and their sequences represent the film's high points…unless you're in it purely for the gore.

While the violence is light in the first two-thirds, the mayhem picks up substantially towards the end. If you're patient enough to hang with it, Slaughter will reward you with some squirmy stuff.

Alas, thanks to plotlines which seem contrived and too-stretched out, the hefty tension built during these sections are largely snuffed out, culminating in an ending that doesn't stick. And what's with all the pig foreshadowing? Was there originally going to be a swine massacre and we were denied it?

That's all I've really got for Slaughter. It's one of those movies that's neither bad nor good. It's mediocre, spotted with a handful of memorable scenes, but beyond those, the flick prompted very little from me.

The disc: the film looks fine, transferred in a clean 1.78:1 anamorphic treatment and the 5.1 Dolby Digital surround is effective. Extras include a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, and Miss Horrorfest webisodes.

Closing Statement

I'm on fumes right now. Movie is okay, but that's it. The DVD is the same.

The Verdict

Whatever.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 90
Audio: 85
Extras: 80
Acting: 80
Story: 70
Judgment: 74

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• English
• Spanish
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genres:
• Horror
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted Scenes
• Featurette
• Webisodes

Accomplices

• IMDb








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