It crawls out of the darkness. No technological or social hinderance will stop it. No human can predict it. No victim deserved it.
What is this blight? It isn’t the sloth, the slowest of the xenarthral mammals. No, it’s the creeping death of nonsensical film making.
There is a joy to be had in a creature feature. Whilst tone can vary from straight to tongue-in-cheek, you can usually be assured of an inherently daft movie that will entertain on some level.
The poster for Slotherhouse – a movie about, yes, a killer sloth – seems to promise this.
Come in! Isn’t this concept silly! Let’s have fun turning the cuddly crawler into a murderous beast! With such a speed hinderance, how on earth will it achieve slaughter?
The answer is this: stupidity. For some reason, this curved claw carver isn’t slow which is surely the unique selling point on a movie about sloths.
Not this one. It jumps! It springs! More bafflingly it can take selfies and post on social media; drive a car; survive more hits than the T-1000; and use Google Maps. It displays none of the characteristics of an actual sloth.
Which begs the question, why choose a sloth? Why not have a racoon that flies a plane? Why not have a jackal that takes you to court?
If we are in nonsensical land, why not have a swarm of mosquitos in a trench coat as a confidence trickster?
Yes, the concept of a killer sloth is dumb to begin with, but if any and all rules about how a sloth behaves are thrown out the window then the movie already has no point whatsoever.
What Is Slotherhouse About?
Perhaps this could have been salvaged if the rest of the movie functioned a few steps ahead of its tree (and throat) hugging creature, but no.
The framing device is that most unrelatable of set ups: a sorority house popularity contest.
Emily (Lisa Ambalavanar) decides to run for president of the Sigma Lambda Theta house against ex-friend turned stuck up snob, Brianna (Sydney Craven).
Her ‘X’ factor is her new pet sloth, which gives her the edge in a series of vote winning events.
The sloth – named ‘Alpha’ – takes umbrage though when it sees a picture of Emily with the man who poached it from the wild.
And so it decides to systematically take out Brianna’s supporters (which no-one notices) before turning on Emily herself. We’ve already established that ‘why’ means nothing in Slotherhouse, after all.
Slotherhouse Official Trailer
Is Slotherhouse Worth Watching?
The dialogue and characters are all pulled straight from the Big Book of Teenage Girls – as written by men.
Every eye roll, sarcastic comment, and backstabbing act is a tiresome exercise in killing time before, well, ‘killing’ time.
As already stated, the speed and intelligence with which the sloth acts negates any real fun as Alpha slashes through the movie’s gossamer cloth of unmemorable characters.
Slotherhouse fails to tick any of the boxes you’d want from a movie with a title such as that.
It even strays into highly questionable imagery – a scene where a teenage girl is drugged and left prone on the floor as the sloth climbs on top of her – that someone should have flagged up as edging too close to a real danger women face everywhere.
Whether the pace of life runs slow or fast there is only so much time anyone can spend. Spend it however you choose.
Slotherhouse requires little from you and asks for even less, but just be warned that it will drive claws into your sides as it envelopes you in suffocating fuzz.
Words by Mike Record
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