Slaughter Night (aka Sl8n8) DVD Review
Written by Steve Pattee
DVD released by Tartan Video
This place is a maze. If you get lost, you die. – Tour guide
Written and directed by Frank van Geloven and Edwin Visser
2006, Region 1 (NTSC), 90 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on April 10th, 2007
Victoria Koblenko as Kristel Lodema
Kurt Rogiers as Mark
Jop Joris as Paul
Linda van der Steen as Estrild
Steve Hooi as Ruud
Carolina Dijkhuizen as Liesbeth
Lara Toorop as Susan
Emiel Sandtke as Stefan
Serge-Henri Valcke as Louis Oup
After her father is killed in a car crash, Kristel (played wonderfully by Victoria Koblenko) heads to his old office to collect his personal items.
As it goes, Kristel's papa didn't have a nice cushy job, like an accountant. He was in the middle of writing a book about a serial killer, Andries Martiens, when he died.
Conveniently enough, Martiens' ghost supposedly still haunts the mine where Kristel's father's office was located.
And the mine has tours.
Guess who and her friends are taking the deluxe tour?
You got it.
Slaughter Night surprised the hell out of me. Admittedly, judging by both the box cover and description, I was expecting nothing more than a Scream-esque teen slasher. And, in a way, it is.
But Night does a pretty good job taking its time developing its characters before the killing starts. Granted, most of the time is spent developing Kristal's character, but once the kids (and some adults) start getting picked off, there is some part of you rooting for them.
Yes, the characters are a little cookie-cutter. When you throw down a group of seven or eight kids, some of them will be your stereotypical cannon fodder. But at least the actors are more than competent enough to make you care about their characters — at least some of them.
Plus, there are some really terrific scares going on in Night. Some nicely executed moments.
So it's really too bad the editing during seemingly every kill is shit. One big steamy, stinky pile of shit.
At what point are filmmakers going to realize hyperfast super-adrenalized action scenes cut for an MTV generation completely and utterly suck? And can we please hurry up and get to that point? Movies are a visual medium, kids, and when you speed up and cut up the scene to the point where no one knows what the hell is going on, you are failing at your job.
What makes the horrific editing worse is nothing else in the movie is edited in such a way, so all the potentially sweet shots are just that; potentially sweet. And it doesn't seem the edits are done to cover up bad effects (à la Feast) because the effects that are viewable are very well done.
As mentioned, there are some nicely executed scenes (there is a stellar scene involving a shovel, a mouth and a thrust), but all of the really good stuff got mixed up in the fecal stew known as the editing.
What pisses me off about Slaughter Night is it could have been a four, four-and-half star movie if it weren't for the editing. The story is fun, the effects you can see are very nice and the acting is solid. But in an effort to be slick, it slips and falls harder than it should.And that's really a damn shame, because this could have been much enjoyable flick.
Video and Audio:
Slaughter Night's 1.85:1 anamorphic presentation has its flaws. It looks as if it is shot on digital, as all of the usual suspects are there. Mosquito noise in parts, darker shots suffering from softness while brighter shots are clean. Colors also seem a little muted. It isn't terribly distracting, but some shots are blanketed with noise and they are noticeable (especially doing smoky scenes). Oddly, some shots come through unscathed. Overall, a mediocre picture that could have been better.
The Dutch DTS soundtrack is not as rich as it could be. When you have a movie that mostly takes place in a mine, ambient noise should be a must, but it seems to have been lacking. There is definitely some surround use, but I was left wanting more.
Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 (both Dutch) as well as English and Spanish subtitles are also available.
- The Making of Slaughter Night
- Original Trailer
"The Making of Slaughter Night" runs about 25 minutes and it is what you'd expect — some behind-the-scenes stuff mixed with clips from the movie (it seems to be about half and half). It's not entirely a fluff piece, because it didn't feel like one, it wasn't boring and there are some pretty good short interviews (my favorite being when they show some of the effects work). And it should go without saying that you'll want to catch it after you watch the film.