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Film review: Slaughterhouse Rulez is a tremendously enjoyable horror comedy

PUBLISHED: 08:06 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 09:58 08 November 2018

Nick Frost as Woody, Gary Golding as a protester and Simon Pegg as Meredith Houseman.  Picture: PA PHOTO/CTMG

Nick Frost as Woody, Gary Golding as a protester and Simon Pegg as Meredith Houseman. Picture: PA PHOTO/CTMG

Our review of Slaughterhouse Rulez featuring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Margot Robbie and more.

Public schools have proved to be an effective microcosm for filmmakers to sink their teeth into in order to create affecting, often scathingly funny drama with Lindsay Anderson’s if and Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society among the benchmark films to explore this environment.

While the latest feature from Crispian Mills lacks the bite and depth of the former and the emotional heft of the latter it remains an endlessly fun and watch able film.

Upon the insistence of his mother, Donald (Finn Cole) enrols in the titular establishment where he struggles to fit in.

When the fracking organised by the headmaster (Michael Sheen) on the schools grounds awakens a hoard of subterranean creatures Donald, along with fellow student Willoughby (Asa Butterfield), assembles a group to defeat them.

Mills and co-writer Henry Fitzherbert leave no cliché unturned, filling the tough boarding school with the endearingly awful teachers, psychotic bullies, bland romances and St. Trinians style japes typically found in such comedies.

Despite the over familiarity of these elements the director and cast – especially Butterfield and Sheen’s upper-class caricatures – keep things moving at an energetic pace and masterfully build a growing sense of unease, drip-feeding us information about sinister mythology surrounding the school until the unearthly beasts are unleashed.

It is here that the film is less strong, the doom-laden, gore-splashing horror frequently undercut by the innuendos and fart gags Mills and Fitzherbert continually insist on deploying.

While it struggles to find a tone, Slaughterhouse Rulez is a tremendously enjoyable horror comedy.

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