Many horror movies come with a good serving of social messaging these days, many successfully so. Slaxx, an eighties-schlock throwback, tries to be one of those films but stumbles in the landing.
Libby (Romane Denis) is getting ready to start her new job at Canadian Cotton Company. CCC, as it colloquially is known, is a fashionable clothing store, a place that advertises itself as being socially responsible and fair-trade-centric. In the coming days, it is set to launch its new jeans, somewhat hilariously called SS. The logo even evokes associations with the infamous German paramilitary organization.
The true twist: As the store locks its doors to prepare for tomorrow’s product introduction, the jeans come alive, and they’re thirsty for blood.
Slaxx does have some clever flashes that are married with its messaging: The SS jeans, for example, are designed to fit
every body type, which to CCC means anyone who weighs five pounds too many or too little. Likewise, the obnoxious
influencer who is allowed a sneak-peak at the jeans is portrayed in a way that skewers our social media culture fairly deliciously.
Where the jeans come from is the central conceit and commentary, but it’d be a spoiler to get too far into that. Suffices to say, CCC’s fair trade promise might be exaggerated.
The message is there, very clearly and very in your face. There aren’t many subtleties, which is par the course for these types of schlock horrors.
What isn’t there is a budget. The whole movie takes place inside CCC, which is fair enough, but it does have a Saved by the Bell-type type vibe at times, both through set designs and filming. Slaxx looks cheaper than it, in all likelihood, needs to.
This also affects the splatter scenes, with most of the kills taking place off-screen. I’m fine with that, but it gets a bit old seeing characters get soaked in blood from some unseen actions. It’s too bad, as the kills we do see are beautifully over the top, and they really do hit the eighties-nostalgia note perfectly.
I suppose I shouldn’t scoff too much at the movie’s logic – haunted pants and all – but not being able to leave the store because it’s completely locked down? No fire exits? No emergency codes? That irks me.
The ideas are there, but Slaxx only half-way delivers on them. Its high points are enjoyable, but the filler – and there is a lot of it – is dull. That’s not something you want in a schlock horror movie.
Slaxx is a well-meaning splatter, then. I just wish it would have lived up to its potential.
Letterboxd summary: When a possessed pair of jeans begins to kill the staff of a trendy clothing store, it is up to Libby, an idealistic young salesclerk, to stop its bloody rampage.
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||2/6|