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As a huge horror fan, I've been really underwhelmed by the 8 Films to Die For series. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a wonderful idea. Then when I got a chance to actually watch the films themselves, I was very disappointed. I think that The Abandoned was the only film that was really worthwhile out of the first set of 8. When the second set of films came out, the first film I got a chance to see was Crazy Eights, which is easily one of the worst horror films I've ever seen in my life. It left me with such a bad taste in my mouth that I didn't bother to check out any of the other films from that year's crop. And I'd completely stopped keeping track of they were up to.

When I ran across
Slaughter at a Redbox, I kind of balked because it was from the latest set of 8 Films to Die For. But nothing else jumped out at me, and I vaguely remembered reading somewhere that Slaughter was a good film. I didn't know anything about it and often that's the best way to go into a movie, without any expectations what-so-ever. At the very beginning of the film we see a girl tied-up, dragged through the woods, and finally dropped into a lake by a creepy looking farmer. Then we're introduced to a couple of young girls, who are out just to have fun. A typical beginning to a horror-flick. The photography and editing were done pretty well though, so I thought I might be in for another decent take on the slasher genre, something along the lines of Hatchet. Boy was I wrong.

We're introduced to Faith and Lola, two girls who've just met in a bar and are becoming fast friends. Faith is new to town, she's trying to escape from an abusive boyfriend. When he manages to track her down, Lola asks Faith to move in with her. She lives in a rustic farmhouse with her unseen father and her mostly unseen brothers. It seemed like only a matter of time until dear-old-dad or Lola's pig bullying brother, would decide to torture Faith to death. But this film really takes it's time to develop, they let us get to know these girls. We learn about their hopes and dreams and they're becoming great friends along the way. I was actually starting to dread the moment when the killer would reveal himself, because I was starting to care about these characters.

At this point I think the typical horror fan would be getting bored, because up to this point, there is really no horror to speak of. I was beginning to ask myself what was going on, did I pick up the wrong movie? But I appreciated what they were doing, because so often we're introduced to a slew of young clich├ęd characters that you don't give a shit whether they die or not, you only want to be entertained by how they're killed.
Slaughter is a very different kind of horror film for this reason. There's only two real characters in the film, they're written and acted well enough that we actually care about what happens to them. The film is structured more like a drama than a horror film, until the last act when things start to go wrong and the film hits you on a whole other level.

I'll try not to give anything away, because I think this is a film that needs to be discovered. I don't believe I've ever seen a horror film built quite like this, where you're not totally sure who to root for. The ending is at the same time, extremely dark and very satisfying. It's not nearly as gory or brutal as most horror films these days, but it hits you harder because you care about these girls. You'll be very surprised by this ending. I do think that this is a film that will rub a lot of people the wrong way, because it starts so slowly and ends in an atypical fashion. But for those it works for, this film will be a brand new experience.

First time writer/director Stewart Hopewell has created a really nice piece of cinema, I'm looking forward to seeing what he does next. I think that Lucy Holt who plays Lola has a wonderful career ahead of her, if she can land some plum roles along the way. She's gorgeous and talented, and I don't think this film would have worked without her. So, 8 Films to Die For has me back for now, this is the kind of film that I was hoping to see from the label. A different breed of horror film that might not get a chance to be seen otherwise. - Grade: B+

3 Responses to Slaughter:

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  1. Slaughter was slower than contintental drift.

    It's just a bad copy of Haute Tension which is to say your going to be left utterly disappointed.

    I can't believe I watched 7 of these so called After Dark horror movies.

    I wanted to impale myself in the eye.

  1. I think that the abandoned was the only film that was really worthwhile out of the first set of 8.replica watches