A trendy clothing store is preparing to unveil their new miracle jeans. Unfortunately, the jeans are possessed and trying to kill everyone in the store. It’s up to one new hire to find a way to save the day.
After a very successful 2020 film festival run, Slaxx is finally coming to Shudder. Directed by Elza Kephart (Graveyard Alive, Go in the Wilderness) and co-written by Kephart and Patricia Gomez (Graveyard Alive), Slaxx takes a rather ridiculous concept and turns it into a fun horror flick. I’m typically a fan of films that take a wild idea and fully commit to it in horror, such as Killer Klowns From Outer Space and Velocipastor, and this film is no different. Kephart and Gomez crafted a tale about a pair of possessed jeans going on a killing spree inside a clothing store. These pants wreak havoc on the store employees, leaving a trail of bodies and carnage.
On the surface, it seems like Slaxx is just a campy, fun horror comedy. Yet the filmmakers managed to include a deeper message into their film. Throughout the film, the store presents itself as a great company that ethically sources its clothing materials. In fact, one of the reasons the protagonist wants to work for this company is because she wants to be part of something doing good in the world. However, what the company presents to customers, and the truth behind their clothes, are two very different things. The message of big corporations using and abusing workers in foreign countries isn’t necessarily subtext, but it ends up being more subtle compared to the bloodthirsty jeans running around and killing people.
This film has a great blend of comedic and dramatic performances. Romane Denis (True North, Slut in a Good Way) stars as Libby. Libby is bright, cheery, eager, and a bit naïve. Denis does a great job of portraying this young woman starting a new job thinking she is going to change the world through retail work. Sehar Bhojani (The Handmaid’s Tale, Coroner) plays another store employee, Shruti. Shruti is essentially the exact opposite of Libby. She’s been at this job for a while and is very clearly only there for the paycheck. Not only does Bhojani give a great performance, but she also creates a nice balance between her character and Libby. Then there is Brett Donahue (Private Eyes, Bad Blood) as store manager, Craig. Donahue plays this character in an over-the-top way that makes Craig a caricature, and I mean that in the best of ways. Many of the most humorous scenes involve Craig’s obsession with being perfect so that he can get a big promotion. All three of these actors deliver dynamic performances, and they’re sure to make you laugh.
In order to create this hilarious film, the filmmakers chose to utilize both CGI and practical effects. It can’t be easy to make a sentient pair of jeans move on their own and carry out ridiculous kills, but the team behind Slaxx pulls it off. There is a cheesiness to the look of the killer pants, but it fits with the overall tone of the film and adds to the fun. Many of the kills themselves utilize practical effects to inject some blood and guts into the film. Audiences will find it nearly impossible not to laugh with delight at the ridiculous killer pants as they embark on their reign of terror.
Slaxx takes a crazy idea and delivers a gory film brimming with laughs. Kephart and Gomez create a memorable film the is equal parts campy horror comedy and social commentary. The premise of Slaxx is one many filmmakers would likely shy away from, but these filmmakers took it and ran with it. The story is helped by strong performances from the leads and some delightful effects that really bring the film to life. Camp definitely isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy outrageous horror comedies and laughing at rude people being torn apart by sentient jeans, then this is definitely the film for you.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10