Unpleasantly commingling domestic violence and sexual abuse themes with standard horror content, "Slaughter" tests genre fans' patience with a long buildup focusing on the friendship between two mistreated young women.

Unpleasantly commingling domestic violence and sexual abuse themes with standard horror content, “Slaughter” tests genre fans’ patience with a long buildup focusing on the friendship between two mistreated young women. Lengthy climax does deliver on the title’s promise, however, adding some decent narrative twists as well as sadism for good measure. Not exactly a fun ride but finally an eventful one, director/co-scenarist Stewart Hopewell’s rather plainly assembled low-budgeter will look better on the smallscreen after its short After Dark theatrical window.

Faith (Amy Shiels) moves to Atlanta to escape a violent boyfriend. But he’s soon leaving obsessive phone messages, prompting her to move in with new pal Lola (Lucy Holt), a reckless free spirit who barely speaks to her menacing farmer father or brothers and picks up one-night stands who invariably disappear (along with their sports cars) by morning. Faith begins to suspect something worse than pork manufacturing is going on in the rural property’s slaughterhouse (site of the pic’s sole atmospheric scenes, albeit sometimes too darkly lit). Naturally, investigating proves a very bad idea. Thesps are OK, tech aspects barely so, but the story does offer a grisly payoff.

Slaughter

Production

An After Dark Films release of a Midsummer Films production, in association with Molinare. Produced by Aimee Barth, Eryl Cochran Woodlief, Matthew Kuipers, Christopher Milburn. Executive producers, Courtney Solomon, Laura Ivey, Stephanie Caleb. Co-producer, Beau J. Genot. Directed by Stewart Hopewell. Screenplay, Hopewell, Tim Long.

Crew

Camera (color), Marius Ivascu; editor, Greg O'Bryant; production designer, Vlad Vieru. Reviewed at Century 20, Daly City, Calif., Jan. 11, 2009. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Lucy Holt, Amy Shiels, David Sterne, Antonia Bernath, Maxim Knight, Vance Daniels, Craig Robert Young, C.J. Singer.
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