Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018)

Slaughterhouse Rulez
Director: Crispian Mills
Writer: Crispian Mills, Henry Fitzherbert, Luke Passmore
Cast: Finn Cole, Asa Butterfield, Jamie Blackley, Tom Rhys Harries, Hermione Corfield, Isabella Laughland, Jo Hartley, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Margot Robbie, Michael Sheen
Seen on: 2.5.2021

Plot:
Don (Finn Cole) is from a working class family. His father died and ever since his mother (Jo Hartley) has tried to push Don to aim higher. When she finds a spot for him at the private Slaugher House school, she convinces him to go. But Slaugher House isn’t quite as fancy as they thought at first, not that it keeps most of Don’t classmates from snobbery. In fact, the school has money problems that the principal (Michael Sheen) tries to solve by allowing fracking on school grounds. But the drilling awakens something underground.

Slaughterhouse Rulez is quite a disappointment. It is supposed to be a horror comedy, but it is neither scary, nor funny. It’s just tired.

The film poster showing the main characters in a school crest-shape.

With the cast of adults in the film, I really had high hopes. Pegg, Frost, Sheen, Robbie – what more could you want in a film? Well, a good script would be called for, I guess. Because this one doesn’t give those people anything to do, instead they all play old clichés that aren’t particularly funny (anymore?). It’s the kind of script that names Pegg’s character Meredith and has him cry a lot as if that in itself was already funny.

Not that the kids in the film fare much better. We get dished cliché after trope after cliché with them, too. And I know that clichés have a certain storytelling power – that’s how they became clichés in the first place. But you need something to hold them all together. There is no trace of that here.

Teacher Meredith (Simon Pegg) and principal The Bat (Michael Sheen) looking at something with a pained expression on their faces.

The plot also doesn’t really know what story it is telling. Does it want to take on classism? Is it about protecting the environment? The depravity of private schools? Greed? And it wouldn’t have been so bad if the film had decided to be about all those things and how they fit together. But instead of a conversation between those elements, they stand next to each other in awkward silence. And none of them get much thought.

Generally speaking, awkward is probably a good word for the film that doesn’t know what it’s doing and doesn’t seem to care about anything at all, certainly not doing the best it could do with its premise.

Clemsie (Hermione Corfield), Kay (Isabella Laughland) and Don (Finn Cole) cowering in a cellar.

Summarizing: don’t let yourself be fooled by the good cast.

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