Starring: Finn Cole, Asa Butterfield, Simon Pegg
Director: Crispian Mills
Running Time: 103 mins
Slaughterhouse Rulez is a British film about a countryside public school which witnesses the end of the world unleashed upon it after a nearby fracking operation goes wrong.
A clever, tongue-in-cheek satire on the amoral world of the British upper class? No. A rollicking, chaotically hilarious horror comedy? Not really. Basically, Slaughterhouse Rulez is one of those films that seems to promise a lot, but in practice has no legs to stand on, proving a boring watch right throughout.
It’s not for a lack of talent or potential either. The film features a couple of A-list stars who, though not on top form, are okay. The premise, too, has worked in similar films like Shaun Of The Dead and Attack The Block, so it’s not impossible for this sort of story to entertain.
The problem, however, is that Slaughterhouse Rulez really phones in the horror-comedy aspect of its story, and offers little else of interest. As a horror-comedy, the film is neither funny nor particularly exciting, and it does a poor job of bringing a heightened sense of ridiculousness to the table as a posh public school of all places finds itself under paranormal attack.
Meanwhile, the premise seems to set up the opportunity to poke fun at the British upper class and old, fastidious traditions. Most of that burden is left to Michael Sheen, who plays the stuck-up headmaster of the school, though the film’s sporadic attempts to work in any satire on that theme are painfully simplistic, and never spark a laugh.
Also, the story randomly features a side-plot about fracking – intending to expose the practice as dangerous and a property of the elite classes. That’s pretty blatant from the outset, but Slaughterhouse Rulez keeps banging you over the head with that message, yet does little to really blend it in with the main story.
As a result, what should have been a ridiculous, throwaway horror-comedy proves bizarrely preachy, and with so little entertainment value elsewhere, the movie starts to really get on your nerves.
In short, Slaughterhouse Rulez really isn’t worth your time. It’s boring, often annoying and enormously underwhelming all the way through. If you’re looking for a good British horror-comedy, Shaun Of The Dead and Attack The Block are the places to go. And if you’re looking for a satire on the upper class, check out The Riot Club or even St. Trinian’s. But as for this movie, there’s no need to bother, which is why I’m giving it a 5.8 overall.