Horror loves when animals attack making it almost a subgenre unto itself. And there are plenty of scary things in nature waiting to get us. Some animals, fish, and insects are scary than others. Plenty of horror movies feature killer sharks, snakes, crocodiles or alligators, and spiders. Occasionally, you might find a horror movie where dogs or zoo animals turn against humanity. And sometimes horror upgrades unlikely creatures – like slugs or rabbits – monster movie status. Now horror-comedy Slotherhouse looks to do for the sloth what Sharknado did … for Ian Ziering.
A legacy at her sorority and a college senior, Emily has high hopes for the new school year. But her dreams of being the sorority house president, like her mother was years ago, don’t have much of a chance. Her main rival, Brianna, has too much influence on social media and in the house. However, a chance encounter with a dealer of rare animals gives Emily the advantage she needs when she adopts an adorable sloth as her pet and mascot. Instant clicks and new followers comes with a price. Though it’s cute and slow, this sloth has blood on its mind and proves to be deadly.
Slotherhouse Gets More Milage Than Expected From its One-Note Premise
Straight out of the gate, Slotherhouse is an absolutely ridiculous movie. And it’s absolutely intended to be silly and stupid. Director Matthew Goodhue and writers Bradley Fowler and Cady Lanigan immediately establish the tone for the tone in its opening scene. When the titular sloth – clearly a puppet in tradition of The Muppets – kills a crocodile, you know what you’re getting yourself into here. Subsequent scenes find our sloth, Alpha, wielding a samurai sword, speeding down an intersection, and hash-tagging selfies with victims (#whatshouldIdonext). And yes, the movie’s title is a not so subtle play on ‘slaughterhouse’. That’s actually a piece of dialogue that gets uttered in a way that’s not remotely ironic.
Not surprisingly, the best moments come from scenes that milk the sheer ridiculousness of standard slasher moments juxtaposed with the lethargic pace of its killer sloth.
Is Slotherhouse able to get much mileage out of one initially seems like a one-dimensional premise? Like other horror-comedies, Fowler and Lanigan’s gags are hit and miss. In fact, much of the humor is broad and often misses its target. Not surprisingly, the best moments come from scenes that milk the sheer ridiculousness of standard slasher moments juxtaposed with the lethargic pace of its killer sloth. Conversely, there’s too many movie to list that poke fun at sororities, clueless house mothers, and influencers. Still the absurdist humor is infectious and, if you’re watching Slotherhouse with friends (and some alcohol), it’s hard not laugh.
Slotherhouse a Surprisingly Light-Hearted, and Occasionally Sweet, Horror-Comedy
Arguably, the most surprising thing about Slotherhouse is just how much it avoids dark humor and the over-the-top gore that characterizes many horror-comedies. In spite of its premise, Goodhue distances his movie from Troma, SyFy, and Asylum Films. As compared to SyFy and Asylum Films, the productions values here are surprisingly impressive. Some scenes even manage to scratch out a bit of suspense. Moreover, Slotherhouse is often an endearing little movie that may tease its sorority sisters and influencers, but never indulges in mean-spirited jabs. There’s even a bit of a message tucked into the absurd humor. In between sloth hashtags, there’s a simple message about animal poaching and taking exotic animals as pets.
…Slotherhouse is often an endearing little movie that may tease its sorority sisters and influencers, but never indulges in mean-spirited jabs.
In addition, Slotherhouse avoids the kind of gore that you would find in many horror-comedies. By and large, Goodhue implies carnage without diving into explicit visuals and bloodletting. All the cast earn big assists in making this one work, too. If you remember the brief Netflix supernatural series, The A-List, Lisa Ambalavnar shines as the sweet, but ambitious, ‘Emily’. Credit to her for keeping a straight face for much of the dialogue she’s required to recite. Comedian Tiff Stevenson gets one of the funniest moments in the movie as the house mother. While we’ve seen plenty of ‘Queen Bee’ sorority sisters in movies, Sydney Craven is still a lot of fun in the role.
Slotherhouse Delivers On Exactly What It Advertises – A Light and Goofy Mix of Comedy and Horror
If there’s anything surprising about Slotherhouse, it’s the horror-comedy’s decision to distance itself from gorier, raunchier campy fare. Unlike movies like Psycho Goreman or Feast, Goodhue et al. avoid explicit gore while also never leaning into meanspirited satire. Yes, Slotherhouse pokes a bit of fun at social-obsessed college students and sororities. But the humor never feels dark and the movie’s death scenes never feel spiteful. Not all the jokes land – in fact, much of the humor misses the mark. Yet this is such an intentionally silly, fun movie that it’s hard to complain. Cult classic is written all over this send-up of killer animal movies.