Dir. Matthew Goodhue (2023)
A college girl looking to become President of her sorority adopts a sloth in the hopes that it can make her gain followers. When people start dying in the sorority, the sloth becomes the prime suspect.
College is a combination of some of the best times in your life and some of the most maddening, a time when your world is expanding and you're dealing with some of the dumbest and most obnoxious people that you'll ever meet in your life. In Greek society, those problems grow exponentially, with the heads of the organization constantly seeking to grow their power base on the backs of the people they have been elected to represent. Add in a murderous sloth, and... well, I don't actually know what that makes, because I'm pretty sure that far-fetched scenario has never actually happened. Except in the new movie Slotherhouse from director Matthew Goodhue, of course!
Emily (Lisa Ambalavanar) is a rising senior who is hoping to take the reins as sorority President from Brianna (Sydney Craven), the stuck up dictator currently running the chapter. She adopts a sloth that was poached from the jungle as a new mascot to increase her popularity, not knowing that the creature is secretly incredibly dangerous despite it's adorable cuteness. Unfortunately for the sorority, girls start dropping dead with claw marks, all signs point to the new mascot as the cause. As someone who is staunchly against keeping exotic animals as pets, I can't say they didn't have it coming.
I was really worried when I heard about this movie that it was going to be a movie that took itself way too seriously a la Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, or that it would at least refuse to understand what it was. Thankfully, it does neither, and this movie is fully self-aware that it is a ridiculous premise and leans all the way into it. It's hilarious, cheesy as all hell, and the creature effects are just a step above stuffed animal. Watching the characters rumble around the screen with the sloth is amazing, and the fact that the writers (Bradley Fowler and Cady Lanigan) have made the sloth an evil mastermind that is able to use the internet and plot his revenge was a stellar choice that makes the movie all the more entertaining. It's stupid, but it's well aware that it is, and it makes no apologies for it, either.
Slotherhouse feels like a Troma movie by way of Blumhouse, a well-produced and slick film that has A production values and just so happens to star a completely unrealistic genius sloth. The actors ham it up in every scene and the overlays of social media pages adding a ton of plot information and helping to progress the story in an entertaining way. It's almost like a buddy comedy that just so happens to also be a slasher movie, a movie whose dumbness is only outweighed by its clever source of entertainment.
The Barbie pink and the Hunger Games-esque score are perfect foils for the slaughter on-screen. There's very little blood, but what there is is splashed across bright backdrops of exaggerated sorority life and girly decorations. The kills are amazing, going much more for laughs than scares and receiving them more often than not. It's a movie that is hard to imagine was made, but after watching it you can't believe it was never made before. And guys, it's so stupid. I haven't been this pleased with a movie that I didn't initially want to watch since Zombeavers, and I will show that movie to anyone who will watch it. While I don't think it's anywhere near as good as that one, it is surprisingly entertaining and well worth a watch.
Who this movie is for: Slasher fans, Creature feature connoisseurs, Sorority sisters
Bottom line: Amazingly stupid and almost as funny, Slotherhouse is a movie that has no right to be as entertaining as it is. It is incredibly ridiculous but genuinely hilarious, with cheesy acting and cheesier effects, and all of it works to create probably the funniest horror movie I've seen this year. If you take your horror seriously, you'll hate it, but if you're a fan of the type of ridiculous horror from companies like Troma and just wish it had higher production values, this one will be right up your alley. It's streaming on Hulu, and it's a great, fun, and incredibly dumb movie to check out this Halloween.