Director – Frank van Geloven, Edwin Visser
Cast – Victoria Koblenko, Kurt Rogiers, Jop Joris, Linda van der Steen, Steve Hooi, Carolina Dijkhuizen. Lara Toorop, Emiel Sandtke
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
After randomly coming across this film and seeing it was a Dutch slasher flick taking place in an old mine, I was stoked going into this watch and expected good horror. Well, I will say right now that my expectations were not met due to Slaugher Night failing to deliver a solid watch, but it does come with fair horror and a cool setting that left much unused potential on the table.
After the recent death of her father, Kristel takes a trip with her friends to a small town in which her father’s final manuscript is awaiting publishing once she returns it home. While at his office her and her friends accept a guided tour of the local landmine in which a sadistic child killer was executed for his crimes. Once in the mind they find themselves stalked by a vicious killer, and soon learn of a supernatural presence haunting the mine for over a century.
Sounds like the Dutch My Bloody Valentine doesn’t it? The story takes off pretty quick and gets to the action fairly soon, which I enjoyed given the film runs under 90 minutes. I loved the idea behind the serial killer(name) and the reasoning for his awesome and heinous crimes, and the film’s most original elements came as a result of his character. Once they get to the mine we learn of the awesome fate the killer suffered, which seemed to come as an omen for the group as they decided to mess around with a guiji board to pass the time when they find themselves trapped in the mine(of course). It is then that the group begins to suffer gory decapitations one-by-one as they are slowly stalked by the spirit of the killer as he transfers from body to body carrying out his evil plan. The rest of the storyline follows the friends as they try and make it out of the mine alive, and that is also where the storyline’s faults occur. On numerous occasions we were exposed to some pretty unfathomable plot holes, which were only worsened with the uninteresting content the scenes consisted of. I really did not like the idea of the spirit going from one body to another and killing the others off, at least not the way it was used in this flick. Had there been better writing execution I may have found this idea to be a positive one, such as how it was used in Fallen, but instead I found it boring and quite lame. The original elements and kills were great, and the high number of characters helped provide constant action throughout the film, which ultimately aided in its pacing.
Writers Edwin Visser and Frank van Geloven also serve as the film’s directors, and their directing output was no better than their writing output. I was expecting much better cinematography from these two given most foreign films are awesome with it, but for some reason(maybe budget related) that was simply not the case. Thankfully they somewhat made up for their lack of good cinematography by giving us awesome mine sets that provided great atmosphere for the events that would later ensue. The dark shadowy sets allowed for numerous hiding spots for our killers and victims to hide and use to stalk, and had me wishing this film was much better so that I could appreciate them more. This Dutch directing duo also managed to include some pretty good gore and awesome kills, which coupled with the film’s great atmosphere are the reasoning behind this film attaining a mediocre rating besides falling flat story-wise.
Overall, Slaughter Night is a faulty watch who’s storyline hindered it from being anything special. The direction is fair and is sure to please gorehounds so long as they forget to pay attention to the story, but in the end this is just a plain Jane Dutch horror film that offers little to someone seeking a good experience.