So this is a modern horror film in which hidden surveillance cameras play a massive part, and yet Slumlord is not found footage. Detractors of that sort of thing can rejoice, kick back and enjoy (well, maybe not enjoy...) this impressively scummy slice of grot. As the titular 'lord, Neville Archambault is perfectly cast, putting even The Human Centipede 2's Martin to shame in the creep stakes. With a gait not dissimilar to Gotham's Oswald Cobblepot, the gut of a man who enjoys a few too many bacon cheeseburgers (it's a plot point and everything) but surprising muscle tone and strength, he's the most immediately memorable horror villain we've seen in years. This is One Hour Photo with a sheen of slime; a leering, unpleasant movie that holds viewers' interest even as it repulses.
With its sweaty male gaze and multiple unsympathetic characters (save for poor Claire, kept in the dark about so much) many will be put off by the film - its cruel and mildly predictable last act not helping matters either. But it can't be faulted for its atmosphere and sheer creepiness, the questions it asks about voyeurism and audience complicity lingering long after the film ends. It finishes with a fine twist too, hinting at a sequel that would be ill-advised but inevitable.
As the Slumlord watches his unsuspecting tenants by hidden camera, so we regard the events unfolding before us. Like 'lord, we could and should turn off at any minute’. We're not going to though, no matter how much we might want to.
SLUMLORD / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: VICTOR ZARCOFF / STARRING: NEVILLE ARCHAMBAULT, SARAH BALDWIN, SEAN CARRIGAN / RELEASE DATE: TBC