Okay, so the translation of this film from the Netherlands couldn’t be any more generic. The title Slaughter Night doesn’t really do this movie justice—it could describe any direct to DVD slasher from the past 3 decades that attempted to cash in on a bigger movie’s presence in the theaters. Having said that, this film is everything I love in a simple horror movie. It’s essentially a slasher, but it has a distinct element of movies like Night of the Demons and Evil Dead. LOVE it. Not only that, but it’s also set in mine caves! I watched it the same weekend I rewatched both My Bloody Valentine movies, so it was a total mine blowing horror weekend for me!
As with all slashers, there’s a setup, a back story, a reason for the killing. But who cares? All we need to know is it lands a group of young people in the caves of an old mine where they start getting picked off one by one. But as I said, it’s not just your average everyday stalker doing the slaughtering. Thanks to a whole Ouija Board subplot, things get wickedly Night of the Demons! Wahoo!
Once the action starts, this film is loaded with bloody deaths, and the setting of the caves is used to perfection, with the already dim lights flickering like strobes and creating dark shadows. It builds suspense and never resorts to the typical slasher movie humor to ease the tension. Also, the formulaic characters don’t totally remain that way, which is always a fresh change. There’s also no obligatory nudity or forced romances. Any hints of sexual sparks are quickly eclipsed by the desperate situation in which the characters find themselves. No fuck breaks here.
People on the message boards complain of the spastic camera during action scenes, but it’s really a common technique in modern horror. More distracting to me were the very odd fades between scenes in the film, almost as if it was made-for-television and required commercial interruptions! Weird. I also learned that holding an L to your forehead to signify someone being a loser is a universal symbol! The only real loophole in this film is the way the group gets stuck in the mines and then all of a sudden some of them are able to get out—and why those who do get out don’t just stay out! I love my friends and all, but friends be damned to the mines forever if I got away and I knew any one of them could turn Evil Dead on me at any minute!