Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Slaughter Night - aka Sl8n8 (2006)

Slaughter Night (aka Sl8n8)is a new horror flick from the Netherlands that treads like any typical slasher film.

After the death of her father whom she is partly to blame for, Kristel takes a road trip with some friends to retrieve a book he was working on about an old mine. The old mine is now a tourist attraction, and Kristel’s father was gathering research for his book. In the “olden days,” criminals sentenced to the death penalty could choose between the gallows or heading into the mines to ignite gas leaks. If they survived the mines, then technically they would be set free. Vicious child-murderer Andries Martiens was sentenced to death after decapitating seven children for a satanic ritual that would give him entrance to Hell. He was given the choice and chose the mines, but died there.

Kristel and her friends decide to take a tour of the mines, but become trapped there. They decide to break out an old Ouija board to see if they can contact any spirits. Unluckily for them, the spirit of Martiens appears and starts chopping off heads, still intent on completing his ritual.

This was a very standard, by-the-numbers slasher movie that didn’t break any new ground. I haven’t seen very many (if any) of Netherlands horror films, but this was a pretty disappointing first viewing for me. Everything was so standard and pretty boring…from the stereotypical characters to the killings. Even the “twist” was even blah…By the end of the film, I just didn’t care what happened, the sure kiss of death for any horror movie.

The acting was surprisingly good, though, with Victoria Koblenko playing the wide-eyed Kristel with innocence, sadness and determination to live. She was the stand-out actor in this film, the rest just kind of faded into the background (or got beheaded).

The story is what drags the whole film down…it’s been done to death, is overplayed, cliché, etc., etc. There are also some pretty big plot holes that never get cleared up (if Martiens had to possess people’s bodies, then how did he get his body back towards the end of the film?).

The film is thankfully fast-paced, which is a good because I just wanted it to finish! The direction is solid and the film looks slick, except for a few annoying shaky camera shots. The gore is plentiful with lots of decapitations, a slit throat and impalement. If you enjoy decapitations, you’ll get your kicks here…there’s even child decapitation!

If you are in no mood to think and just want something to drown out the pounding of your hangover, Slaughter Night is a good place to start. On the other hand, if you are looking for an original horror film, you won’t find it here.

I truly hope the Netherlands has some horror films that are much better and much more original than this…if not, I’ll be even more disappointed than I was when I finished Slaughter Night.

Available on Amazon!

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