New to Shudder this week is the horror comedy, Slaxx. The film – directed by Elza Kephart – tells the story of some possessed jeans, which go on a killing spree and murder the employees of a popular clothing store.
In the movie, the sentient garments pick their victims off one by one, strangling and maiming with carless abandon. This leads to a stack of bodies, plenty of blood splatter, and the rather bizarre sight of some trousers trying to communicate with humans.
Based on its unusual premise, it is pretty fair to say that Slaxx is highly preposterous stuff, and not a movie which aims to be taken too seriously. Yet the film carries a message about consumerism, fast-fashion, and ethical employment practices, which is both unexpected and welcome.
It is through these discussions, when Slaxx is at its strongest and there are some neat ideas here. Yet, unfortunately, for all its good intentions, Slaxx is not quite the movie it wishes to be and the end result is a mediocre horror film which misses the mark on multiple occasions.
In terms of its comedy, Slaxx is not particularly funny. Some mild tittering just about surfaces during the rather bonkers death scenes, but it never produces any real giggles.
In terms of horror, Slaxx is neither scary, tense, nor gruesome. Sure, there is plenty of blood on display, but there’s nothing new or original about the way in which the jeans kill off their victims, and certainly nothing which pushes any boundaries.
Although I didn’t expect much from a movie about possessed pants, I approached this picture feeling hopeful. A movie of this nature has the potential to become a raucous romp, so I was more than willing to park any preconceptions in exchange for a wild time.
But the wild time didn’t come, and as the film progressed, I became increasingly aware that things were going to remain on an even keel. It never went so far as to raise my pulse, and never quite dropped to a level in which I wanted to switch off.
This middle ground was fine, and the film’s short running time of 77 minutes meant I remained with it until the end, but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Slaxx is watchable, and its central message is certainly worth paying attention to, but it needed a little more oomph.
Ultimately, if I’m going to watch a movie about killer leg-wear, then I want it to scare me into submission. If all this excess lockdown weight can make me faint at the sight of skinny jeans, then a horror movie should have no problems in bringing me out in a sweat.
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