Slaughterhouse Rulez is a British horror-thriller movie, written, directed and produced by Crispian Mills. This is Mills’ second time directing, although he may be better known as the frontman of the band Kalu Shaker. The movie itself has a difficult plot to talk about, given the fact that there seems to be no ‘main plot.’ Instead, the film seems to have the numerous sub-plots that an average movie has to tie the main storyline together, without the main storyline actually being apparent in this case.
Led by a young cast, Finn Cole (Don Wallace), a boy from a ‘working class’ family (despite the only obvious indicator to his class being a northern accent) is accepted into Slaughterhouse, an elite boarding school for the people of tomorrow. Making firm friends with Willoughby Blake (Asa Butterfield), his roommate who is battling demons of his sexuality and the depression of his boyfriend (and old roommate) taking his life in the previous term. The two of them find themselves in constant trouble. From Finn falling for sixth former and future god Clemise Lawrence (Hermione Corfield), to constantly being on the receiving end of prefect Clegg’s (Tom Rhys Harries) punishments, it’s not exactly an easy start to the term.
Least of their worries, at the edge of the school’s grounds is a new fracking site, which causes the opening of a sinkhole and the release of a whole load of methane gas. Approximately two-thirds of the way into this movie, after a bout of fracking causes a powercut, the main gang stumble across the real reason for despair, a subterranean species of beast and methane gas,hellbent on killing everyone in its path. For the rest of the movie, the team try to overcome the never truly explained creatures, with the help of headmaster Michael Sheen, alcoholic teacher Simon Pegg and fracking hater/magic mushroom enthusiast/ex Slaughterhouse god turned hippie Nick Frost. Oh, and Margot Robbie is in there too.
Although the young cast all hold their own, bringing both laughs and serious concerns to the screen, the plot and script just aren’t enough of a match to turn any of their performances into anything much. The first film by Stolen Pictures, Pegg and Frost’s production company, isn’t the best of starts for the company. The shame of it is, the cast should bring this movie into the ranks of the Cornetto Trilogy and it just doesn’t. Full of the same stereotypical clichés, what it fails to bring is the Corneto’s sense of self-deprecation. Where Shaun of the Dead (2004) acknowledges its parody tropes, Slaughterhouse Rulez seems to do the opposite.
There’s not much positive to say about this movie, which is confusing because it’s not necessarily a bad film, just poorly written and relatively confusing to watch. All plot aside though, the movie is worth the watch based solely on school boy Caspar De Brunose (Jamie Blackley) serving serious young Robert Downey Jr vibes.
Image: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons