Slaughter Night

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In the past in the Netherlands, if a man was convicted of murder, he would be sentenced to death. But not a simple execution, instead the killers were sent down into the mines to seek out gas leaks. Once a leak was found, the killer would set it off, eliminating the dangerous leak, as well as his own life. But the law stated that if one of these “fire-men” were to survive the explosion, they would pardoned. Of course, no one could survive such an explosion and deep within the mines many lives were lost, including Andries Martiens. But he hasn’t left the mines behind, even in death, as his vengeful spirit lurks in the darkness, hoping to find a chance to murder again. In the modern day Netherlands, the fire-men no longer exist of course, but the lore interests many, so a man was doing research until his death. His daughter soon arrives to investigate the mines herself, with a group of her friends in tow. But as they enter the mines, death awaits them; do they have any chance to survive?

Also known as SL8N8, this horror treat from the Netherlands promises a thrill ride and a half, one soaked with blood and gore from start to finish. While this is a Dutch production, there isn’t much of a cultural impact because of that, Slaughter Night plays like a typical American slasher, just in a different language. And you can tell the filmmakers are up on their U.S. staples, as you’ll see touches of all kinds of American horror movies, from Saw to the Evil Dead. But that doesn’t mean its bad, though it carries over such U.S. slasher conventions as poorly developed characters, cheap scares, and a thin storyline at best. But we watch films like Slaughter Night for the hunt and the kill, so does the carnage live up to the hype? The movie starts out with a lot of bloodshed and violence, but soon softens and that vicious tone weakens. There is still some red stuff to be found, but if Slaughter Night could have maintained that start, it could have been incredible. Even so, Slaughter Night is a solid, if predictable slasher that delivers some fun gore, so if you’re a horror nut, you’ll want to give this a rent.

Video: How does it look?

Slaughter Night is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer here runs the scale a little, as the visuals often look excellent, but some flaws do surface. The print is in excellent shape, with no debris or signs of wear, which is just great news. But, this is a dark movie and that means lots of shadows and low light sequences, which prove to be an issue here. In those scenes, a lot of grain is visible and while not a huge deal, it is a problem and I wish it wasn’t there. The grain is the lone distraction however, as the rest of the visuals shine and represent the intended visual design to near perfection.

Audio: How does it sound?

Tartan is always generous with the soundtrack options and this release is no exception, with dual 5.1 options in both Dolby Digital and DTS. I was most impressed with the music here, as the surrounds are really used to enhance the musical tracks. I know music is often overlooked in the technical reviews of the audio, but I had to mention it here, as the music sounds excellent. The rest of the audio isn’t as impressive, but the surrounds help add to the tense atmosphere. Even so, this movie doesn’t need a lot of brash surround presence, so this subtle, atmospheric mix works quite well. This disc also includes subtitles in English and Spanish, should you need those at some point.

Supplements: What are the extras?

There is a behind the scenes piece here and while not substantial, at least it provides some basic insight into the story and how it was brought to the screen. This disc also includes a reel of outtakes, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.

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