REVIEW: SLASHER HOUSE / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: MJ DIXON/ SCREENPLAY: MJ DIXON / STARRING: ELEANOR JAMES, WELLINGTON GROSVENOR, ADAM WILLIAMS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The low budget horror film is a great British tradition, from the cult campy Hammer films to The Wicker Man and, more recently, Eden Lake. Homegrown indie horrors are something to be celebrated, not maligned, but Slasher House, from writer, director and producer Mj Dixon, does so little to keep the faith.
Slasher House was made for around £5000. But the budget itself isn’t the problem, it’s the end result; 90 minutes of garish, badly shot nonsense that’s little better than a GSCE media studies project. If Shane Carruth can make Primer for $7000/£4000, Dixon has no excuses.
Eleanor James, who’s starred in an impressive list of low-budgets since 2005, is the best of a bad bunch, wondering around like a lost Suicide Girl after waking up naked and with amnesia. Adam Williams has all the charisma of a watering can as Nathan, squawking his way through a lifeless script.
The film's sickly hues owe a debt to Saw, specifically the third in the franchise, with both Eleanor and Angus Macfadyen looking confused and being shepherded about a derelict industrial setting. As Dixon fronts the metal band Subject Seven, it goes some way to explain why the killers are inspired by members of Slipknot, including another forgettable killer clown who has nothing on Pennywise or Captain Spaulding. Bizarrely, Blaze Bailey (Iron Maiden frontman 1994-99) lends his voice.
Mj Dixon may have gotten it right with this year’s Legacy of Thorn, better received and with a much bigger budget than its predecessor, but Slasher House leaves you longing for amnesia yourself.