What would you do if you woke up in an abandoned prison, with no memory of who you were, and a selection of Britain's most notorious serial killers wandering the halls? That's the premise of MJ Dixon's Slasher House, and while the film is a bit derivative, it's also fun.
Red (Eleanor James) wakes up in a cell, naked, with no memory. Her thoughtful captor has left her with an outfit to wear, and down the hall a fridge full of beer and an icepick. She doesn't know who she is, but soon realizes that she's not alone. She first comes across mild mannered Nathan (Adam Williams), whose cell is still locked. And before too long she runs across three more, appreciably more dangerous fellows: Corben (Wellington Grosvenor), a crazed, cleaver wielding clown (Andrew M. Greenwood) and the nearly unstoppable Thorn (Alex Grimshaw).
It doesn't take long before Red figures out that everyone in the prison is a serial killer, including herself according to Corben. Except for the seemingly harmless Nathan. But how harmless is he really? Somewhere, a sadistic and shadowy figure is manipulating everyone, opening doors, providing gifts and clues, and presumably enjoying the show. It becomes less and less likely that Red will ever find a way out.
Slasher House has some similarities to other films, particularly the Saw series, but it definitely goes in new and interesting directions. The performances are all pretty good, especially Eleanor James. It's visually interesting and has some fun blood and gore effects. Thorn is an attempt at an iconic boogeyman slasher figure, and he's not bad in that regard. The narrative is straightforward and compelling as far as it goes, but a bit anemic and slight. It seemed as if the film had a lot of interesting paths it could have taken, but didn't. A sequel is heavily implied, however, so maybe that exploration will come later.
In summary, Slasher House isn't particularly provocative or innovative, but it is fun and easy to watch. It's an enjoyable romp of a slasher film. Recommended.
Video is 1.78:1 widescreen, and looks decent. The image isn't terribly sharp and there is a bit of grain. The colors are pale and washed out as well, but this appears to be intentional. However, this review is based on a check disc, so no comment can be made on the quality of the final product.
Audio is Dolby digital 2 channel, and works well. Dialogue is mostly audible, though it does get swallowed up in the musical score from time to time, but no hiss or other problem can be hear. However, this review is based on a check disc, so no comment can be made on the quality of the final product.
The only extras are a few trailers. However, this review is based on a check disc, so no comment can be made on the quality or quantity of extras on the final product.
Slasher House isn't a fantastic movie, but it is a good one, and genre fans especially will enjoy it. The film has an engaging visual style, cool effects, and an attractive and talented lead. There's a lot worse out there. Check it out.