Slaughterhouse Rulez makes you feel so disappointed after going into a film not expecting much and hoping to be pleasantly surprised. It’s a feeling you’d get from say, the St Trinian’s movies. Which aren’t very good, but they are watchable and fun enough to keep you away from the feeling that you’ve wasted your time.
Slaughterhouse Rulez tries to marry St Trinian’s with Shaun of the Dead, which feels like the germ of a potentially fun romp, but in reality misses so many marks you just want either of those influences on the screen instead. Which isn’t hard when one of those intended apes is a five-star classic.
What you get here, however, is a film that tries to capture the ridiculousness of British comedy and context with the energy of better and more ingenious filmmakers. Tries is the keyword throughout all of this film. It tries to be funny, it tries to be scary, it tries to foreshadow, it tries to have fun splatter, it tries to have meaningful characters and engaging villains.
The film tries to pack so much into it it never quite hits the mark. In its 103 minute run-time, Slaughterhouse Rulez tries to juggle multiple plot-lines that are never quite fleshed out enough, which in turn mean we never quite care enough. There are many a reference to the world building and history of what’s come before the film going in, but it doesn’t give us enough to really connect or think or feel.
It all just feels hollow and half-baked. Between the few good throwaway jokes and visual gags and embracing some practical horror effects (amongst boring ugly monster design), not to mention a supporting cast that sometimes shines (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the same film rock, but Michael Sheen once again is the scene-stealer), Slaughterhouse Rulez is otherwise another cheap attempt at British film-making unfortunately cast in the shadow of its great predecessors. It was never going to be a Shaun of the Dead, but it’s so tragic that it’s not even a St Trinian’s.