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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Review: Slaxx

Director: Elza Kephart

Screenplay: Patricia Gomez and Elza Kephart

Year: 2021

Libby is a shy young woman who starts a new job in a renowned trendy clothes store. During her first day of work, the crew prepares for an event where a new set of jeans will be revealed to revolutionize the fashion industry. One of the jeans in the collection is possessed and starts killing the store employees one by one.

Yep, just as you read. A pair of possessed jeans focused on killing the employees of a pretentious trendy clothes store. At the very least, the premise is enough to wake some curiosity in many and suggests a fun and campy horror-comedy tone. However, “Slaxx”, a Shudder exclusive Canadian movie, does not deliver on its promise.

You don’t have to put much effort in to see the social message that writers Patricia Gomez (“Graveyard Alive”) and Elza Kephart (“Go In The Wilderness”) wanted to bring with their script. During its development, it shows a clear critique against the exploitation of third-world country workers, as well as the vanity and hypocrisy that often accompanies this world of fashion tendencies and its followers. However, in its effort to show this commentary as clearly as possible, they create exaggerated and one-dimensional characters that are hard to stomach and make it hard to get interested by anyone in the film.

The characters are just but one of the many issues with this movie. With a concept such as this, you would expect an over-the-top campy horror-comedy, which it tries to offer, but doesn’t achieve it. On the one hand, the comedy doesn’t connect with the viewer mainly because of the poor characters that are further brought down by the acting. In the other, the horror aspect is merely reduced to gore, which in a few instances happens offscreen and when you do get to see it, it is a mix of lights and shadows, with some greatly achieved special effects but others that seem to have been done by an amateur instead of a professional.

“Slaxx'' doesn't connect with its comedy or horror, which is just some gore and little more. An absurd concept like this screamed for a campy tone in all of its aspects, but this movie feels shy and unrefined in all of them. Its message is clear but superficial, and I am confident that it won’t do much to move the conscience of those it targets. It also leaves too many loose ends in its plot, although you honestly don’t care when it reaches the end.

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