Tartan picks up Slaughter Night (AKA SL8N8)


Fresh from its North American premiere at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, the Dutch slasher movie “Slaughter Night” (AKA SL8N8) has been acquired by Tartan Films for distribution in North America.  “Slaughter Night” follows Kristel and her teenaged friends as they set off on a trip to an abandoned mine where her recently deceased father was researching a biography about a serial killer who was condemned to die in the mines more than a century ago.  While experimenting with a ouija board, the spirit of the killer is released, and begins his search for a way to be released from Hell.

The Netherlands is not known for it’s slasher movies, but here we are with a straight ahead ‘classic’ slash fest.  We begin with the demise of a 19th century child murderer, who the local authorities dispatch with in the local mine.  Fast forward to the present.  After the sudden death of Kristel’s father, she and her friends take a road trip to an abandoned mine (oh no, really?) to recover some of his personal belongings.  He just happened to be working on a book about the aforementioned serial killer.  A tour of the mine leaves everyone trapped underground, a good time to use a ouija board, and thus release the spirit of the killer to possess our ‘heroes’ one by one on a quest to collect 8 severed heads in order to gain his get out of Hell free card.

The cramped and maze-like corridors of the mine prove an effectively scary locale while the kids search for a way out, or flee their now possessed friends.  Some of the fights are fairly realistic and the gore is pretty wild at times, the ‘shovel in the head’ stands out in my memory.  Unfortunately the ‘shaky camera to avoid seeing too much’ becomes really annoying pretty early on, and ultimately we’re know exactly where this is all going.

On the upside, unlike many of North America’s latest offerings of kids being hunted by a supernatural killer, I wasn’t preying that everyone would die as soon as superhumanly possible!  Bottom line, if you like a little run and slash, this one’s nothing special, but it’s a fun ride.

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