Slaughterhouse Rulez is a British horror-comedy that needs more horror, and more comedy

Steve Hogarty
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Slaughterhouse Rulez

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star in this British teen-horror flick that bears some of the hallmarks of the comedy duo’s glory days, while reminding you that they were, in fact, some time ago.

There are nods to the Edgar Wright directed “Cornetto Trilogy”, comprising Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End, with Pegg munching an ice-cream and wielding a cricket bat. But the association with these horror-comedy classics makes for an unflattering comparison.

Crispian Mills is now in the director’s chair, liberally employing Edgar Wright’s trademark quick-cuts and whip-fast camera pans, but never with the same comic timing or dramatic effect.

It follows a working class student (Finn Cole) enrolled into a prestigious public school presided over by a corrupt headmaster (Michael Sheen), who’s sold off the grounds to an evil fracking company. The work opens up a sinkhole and unleashes a bunch of subterranean B-movie monsters into the school, though they take far too long to crawl out of their ominous, smoking lair. It’s well into the film’s final third before the gore starts flying.

Pegg’s role as a pathetic Latin teacher is unsatisfying, while Frost’s stoned eco-warrior living in a commune in the woods, hedging the plot’s anti-fracking message, feels lazy and distant.

Set in a public school, but with little to say about class, Slaughterhouse Rulez is a one-dimensional and non-metaphorical horror show. It’s a wasted opportunity and an occasional hollow imitation – a totally pointless movie that’s literally about some cool monsters messing things up, and nothing else.