A group of young people go to clean an abandoned house and find themselves in a fight to survive against an ancient evil.

The Lowdown

“It’s an epic of unspeakable evil. A time of darkness and horrors worse then you could possibly imagine.”

You know what to expect as soon as the movie starts. In a strange montage that cuts from color to black and white and grainy, a group of women approach and disrobe. The nude women then pull out knives and start to slash away at something, although you can’t tell what they are stabbing. Soon all the girls are covered in blood and a demon woman rises from the ground. We cut to an old house where a woman is having visions of the demon and eventually finds her young daughter cut in half. As she runs, the woman falls over the stair railing and ends up with the coat rack driving into her never-where’s, killing her.

The cast of characters is the basic one that you would expect from a slasher film. The independent strong willed girl, the slut, the asshole, the pothead, the braniac and the level headed guy. They are hired by a rich, jerk to clean up the house that the woman lived in when she died and are joined by him and his bitch assistant to watch over them. With the exception of one or two of the kids, you actually want them all to die. In a movie like this, that would be the point.

I would not be too far off if I predicted that writer/director Jay Lee’s favorite movie was The Evil DeadThe Slaughter works hard to be like The Evil Dead, chock full of homages to the classic low budget horror film. The death of the woman I mentioned bares an uncanny resemblance to the torture felt by Cheryl during the tree rape scene in The Evil Dead. They read incantations from a book they find in the basement, paralleling the same thing that ignited the horror in The Evil Dead. The kids even drive to the house to clean it by passing over an old wooden bridge and then through a tree lined dirt road. There is paying homage and there is completely ripping off the entire premise of a movie. Have I mentioned that the demon woman looks just like the demon from Sam Raimi’s classic? Yeah, subtle it is not.

The sound effects are over done with crazy jump scares based on sound effects present with the sole purpose of making you jump. It is a cheap way to add scares. There are also numerous visions of the demon woman, proving that what you don’t see might be more frightening than what is bashed over your head over and over again. When you see the demon woman numerous times before she attacks anyone, it is not that scary anymore. There is blood and there is gore. There are lot of deaths and there is a lot of humor added to the movie, some of which works but most of which does not. Some of the special effects are poor too, offsetting some great stop motion gore.

When the friends that died return as zombies, the movie really jumps a level and becomes quite fun at that point. Yes, they are still trying a little to hard with easy humor, but damn if it didn’t give me a few laughs. The gore and blood are pumped up at this time as well. It becomes a funny roller coaster ride from hell with blood, guts and a sick sense of humor that made the movie worth sitting through. The ending sucked but fit well into the genre.

I understand that the movie is supposed to be like the classic splatterstick styles of Raimi and Stuart Gordon. The stop motion gore is disgusting and that is a good thing. The nudity is aplenty, and that is very nice. The death of the stoner might be one of the best “folded up” death scenes since Abominable thanks to the stop motion gore. However, the jump scares are annoying and the humor early on borders on the edge of stupidity instead of the cleverness of the movies that came before it. It improves dramatically towards the end and it’s not horrible because it is what it is, a splatter horror movie where a guys face gets sucked off. It is a good effort, but does not quite match up to what it is trying to emulate.

The Package

The picture works well although I am confused at the shifts in the color levels of the picture. It looks fine for a low budget horror flick. It is presented in 16×9 widescreen.

There is one deleted scene included. It is an extended scene that just seems to go on and on explaining the plan of the Survivor Girl a little too much, and just kind of repeats things learned in the climax. There are also outtakes (some humorous, some forgotten lines and others just showing how scenes were shot), the trailer and other previews. Not much to see here.