I was willing to give Slaughter some credit--it's the third of eight in the series of the After Dark Horrorfest review cycle, which means I'm looking for it to be about middle of the road in terms of quality. Would it live up to my expectations?
I admit to some concerns about this one, mostly because of what's stamped on the front cover: based on true events. When I read that little slogan, I immediately launch into a Spock-esque eyebrow arch of skepticism and concern. While some movies based on true events, like The Strangers, are extra freaky for their possible realism, other movies use it like antifreeze in wine--a way to give grape juice a little "extra kick". The downside there, of course, is that it's likely to leave you blind. And while no movie (and I've seen some truly lousy ones in my time) is ever sufficiently bad to strike its viewers blind, it's entirely possible that the movie just sucks and it's trying desperately to cover its tracks with an attempt at scaring you by forcing you to wonder, could this happen to me?
Sadly, it's not nearly as good as the first couple of titles, but actually, it's not really that bad.
In Slaughter, a young woman named Faith is on the run from her abusive boyfriend, hopping from safe house to safe house to elude her pursuer, when she comes across Lola, a farm girl with a taste for the wild life. After a chance meeting, Lola offers Faith a place to stay in exchange for cheap rent and some help with farm chores. Faith, glad for the chance to stay somewhere none of her friends has even heard of, and thus could never reveal to her ex, jumps at the offer, and soon the two are roommates and close friends. But as things go along, we rapidly find that all isn't well with Lola...and it just might mean Faith's death.
I'm already skeptical about the whole "based on a true story" bushwah, mostly because after watching the movie I can't figure out who exactly would be LEFT to tell it. Not to spoiler or anything but there will be a LOT of deaths.
Slaughter isn't really a bad movie--the last twenty minutes or so are easily packed with enough twists for three movies--but it's not really a good movie either because it takes so long to GET to that really sweet part without a whole lot going on. If the first hour had been like the last twenty minutes then I would not stop raving about this movie. Seriously, you couldn't get me to shut up about it. But if the worst I can say about it is that it takes its sweet time getting to a really bang-up conclusion, well hey...worse things have been said.
I know--I've said most of them!
The ending is easily the best part of the whole thing, packing in all sorts of twists until a strange and utterly unforeseeable conclusion. It's actually really interesting.
The special features include audio and display options, a making of featurette, deleted scenes, Miss Horrorfest webisodes and both English and Spanish subtitles.
Is Slaughter the dog of After Dark Horrorfest 3? For now, it's definitely a leading candidate. But if this IS the dog then we have plenty to look forward to, as this dog wasn't all that bad to begin with. If you haven't seen any Horrorfest episodes yet, I suggest starting here, as it'll likely only get better.