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Slaughter Night (DVD)

Slaughter Night DVD review (click to see it bigger!)Starring Victoria Koblenko, Kurt Rogers, Jop Joris, Linda van der Steen

Directed by Frank van Geloven & Edwin Visser

Distributed by Tartan Films


Psychologists tell us the grieving process has seven stages:

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Guilt
5. Depression
6. Loneliness
7. Acceptance

Kristel doesn’t have time for that shit. After witnessing her father die in a brutal car accident, she immediately drags her friends on a whimsical road trip to an abandoned mine to pick up some of pop’s belongings. No brooding for this girl, no sir. Once there, an old tour guide (in true Johnny Explainer fashion) recounts the sordid history of the shaft: In the old days, criminals were forced to detect and set-off dangerous gas leaks in the mines. The last person to go “boom” was a notorious multiple child-murderer who vowed vengeance from beyond the grave. Evil Dead-style shenanigans ensue when the teens reach the bottom of the shaft, pull out a Ouija board (the perfect mining accessory!), and accidentally summon a bunch of pissed-off spirits that go “deadite” on their collective asses.

Having bypassed the grieving process, Kristel and friends go through the seven stages of survival:

1. Running
2. Bitching
3. More bitching
4. Hiding
5. Bitching still more
6. Confusion
7. Death

There’s not much else you can say. With a title like Slaughter Night, you know you’re not getting much in the way of story or characters. This is as routine stalk-n-slash as they come. All you can really expect is a healthy dose of, well, slaughter and this is a film that will have you constantly reaching for the vomit bag. But that won’t have anything to do with the onscreen gore.

Anytime a moment of action or horror breaks out, the directors (yup, there’s two of em) pull out the world’s most nauseating shaky-cam. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to get your bearings on who is fleeing where and what direction the baddies are attacking from. By the time the last act rolls around and the action takes focus, it’s like you’re seeing the world entirely through the eyes of a drunken “24” camera-man. It’s a shame, because Slaughter Night sports solid production values and great make-up effects, all of which drown in a sea of failed style.

In the immortal words of Forest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that.” Slaughter Night is a film so uninspired, it’s difficult to form a single after-thought. That hasn’t stopped Tartan from giving it a respectable treatment on DVD, of course. The picture, sound, and subtitles are all top notch, with a blooper reel and in-depth “making of” documentary rounding out the extras. The behind-the-scenes footage is undeniably cool (with a heavy emphasis on gore and make-up) and it’s obvious that the cast and crew are a dedicated bunch of horror aficionados. Their on-set enthusiasm is more fun to watch than anything that actually made it into actual movie.

Special Features

  • Making of Slaughter Night
  • Blooper reel
  • MOVIE

    2 out of 5

    DVD

    3½ out of 5

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    Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.