Sl8N8 (2006)

DVD Cover (Tartan Video)
Genres: Horror, Slasher Film, Supernatural Horror
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Frank van Geloven Frank van Geloven
Edwin Visser Edwin Visser
Victoria Koblenko Victoria Koblenko
Kürt Rogiers Kürt Rogiers
Jop Joris Jop Joris
Linda van der Steen Linda van der Steen
Steve Hooi Steve Hooi

5.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: April 18, 2007
I'm going to cut right to the chase for this review by borrowing a quote from the Saw series: "Oh yes... there will be spoilers." I won't go on in length about every last twist and detail of the film, but if you want to be surprised, you may want to reevaluate whether or not you should continue reading this review. I'm doing this because if I were to go the usual route of giving a brief synopsis and avoided describing the latter part of the movie, it would come across as though I enjoyed the presentation. This is because the first half of the movie is pretty damned good, but then, there are some twists and horrible decisions that just 'slaughter' any chance of me recommending Sl8N8.

Our story for this Dutch horror offering centers around Kristel (Victoria Koblenko), a young lady who has just lost her father in an unfortunate accident. She's sent to Belgium to retrieve a few of his belongings, and while there, she meets a colleague of her fathers who mentions that there is a mine tour taking place soon. He invites Kristel and her friends - who have tagged along for the "road trip" - to check it out, and down into the mines they go.

As they're poking around inside the mine, the tour guide for this little adventure describes to them the firemen who used to "work" in here. You see, back in the old days, felons who were facing the death penalty had an opportunity to go free: all they had to do was light the methane gases that would otherwise harm the miners who were working down there, and if said felon survived the explosion, he was pardoned of his crimes. When the tour guide leaves the group alone for a few minutes, they decide to play with a Ouija board which summons the spirit of the last fireman who served in here: a mass-murderer who killed children for occult rituals. The lift is broken and there's no escape for these fresh-faced teens, so it turns into a fairly formulaic slasher from here on out.

Just to be clear with you readers, I wasn't expecting an intelligent horror presentation from a film whose title translates to "Slaughter Night." In fact, even though some of the events that took place in the above synopsis were bizarre and would have never happened anywhere besides in a bad horror movie setup, I could overlook all of that: we wouldn't have a very thrilling movie if they had just went down into the mine, looked around, and went home when all was said and done. So, at this point in the film, I was still enjoying everything and had no true complaints.

Then, the action begins. It seems as though this spirit can enter and control human bodies at will, which somehow manages to instantly turn said human into what appears to be the bastard offspring of a demon and a zombie. One of the humans becomes possessed and turns on the others, they perform a shotgun exorcism on this poor soul, and the spirit then possesses someone else leading to even more fun and games. Again, I was fine with this: the direction was spot-on, there were some truly tense scenes, and the effects were damned good... but right about here is when things started going downhill.

Remember how, back in the days when the various Looney Tunes cartoons were brand spanking new, a common plot device from one of these cartoons would find a criminal robbing a bank before running from the cops, hopping on a train, catching a plane to the next country over, and then checking in to a hotel... only to find that the same cops he was eluding were waiting for him there? In cartoons, you're supposed to completely discard any shred of logic: a coyote can fall fifty miles to the ground and walk away without so much as a scratch. In movies, you're supposed to suspend disbelief for a while and just enjoy the ride; however, unlike in the cartoons, there has to be some sort of rules in place, and watching the villain basically do what those cartoon cops loved to do by way of teleporting all over the fucking place just did not work with me. How can the killer be outside of and away from the mine, in a house, terrorizing someone... and then, in the very next scene, be down inside the mine and right behind the teens? I'm just going to ignore the fact that the lift was supposedly broken (you know, an event which was the main setup for the storyline) and assume that the killer didn't just float two hundred feet up the mine shaft, but some explanations would have been dandy. This sort of thing doesn't just happen once or twice: it's basically how the killer operates once the first couple of bodies hit the floor. Nothing makes any goddamned sense, and it goes from being a promising horror film to what seemed to be nothing more than a bunch of random scenes strung together with all logic and story tossed aside.

As tempted as I may be, I can't in good faith give this a 0 or 1/10. As mentioned above, the opening act of the film is damned good and there are some excellent gore effects sprinkled throughout the running time; however, the second half of the movie just completely ruined it for me. 4/10.
Edd #1: Edd - added 04/18/2007, 01:02 PM
I happened (to my misfortune) pick this up, thinking it was an entirely different movie. Not only is the dialogue dreadful, but the ending doesn't wrap much up. Almost like they accidentally were going for a sequal. I highly doubt one would be made, but it's shit like that that made this movie a pain in the ass to watch. 2/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 09/28/2007, 02:25 AM
Tartan Video?
I thought they only handled Asian releases.
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