THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE KILLER (2020)
aka BLOOD HUNT 2: SLAUGHTERHOUSE
Directed by Sam Curtain.
Written by Benjamin Clarke, Sam Curtain.
Starring Craig Ingham, James Mason, Kristen Condon, Dean Kirkright
Nathan (James Mason) is a young parolee assigned to work at a slaughterhouse and receive training from one of best in the biz, Box (Craig Ingham). But Box isn’t just an expert in killing and cleaning pigs and cows, he is also quite proficient in killing people. Seeing something special in Nathan, Box begins training Nathan in the art of serial killing.
THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE KILLER is a no-frills slasher that feels like it is a little too real. Everything from the behind-the-scenes tour Box gives Nathan of the slaughterhouse, the non-flashy way Box murders his victims, or the quiet scenes of Box’s banal home life, seem less produced and more like these scenes were simply captured in a documentary-style format. The film begins with a less than fabulous depiction of Box at home, waking up in his underwear, having a coffee, washing his pits in the sink, and then heading out to work. Everything is extremely un-glamorous and those used to a polished Hollywood film might be put off by the lack of sensationalism. Because we see Box in such an unsympathetic light with the camera zooming in uncomfortably close to the unappealing man-monster, it makes for an uncomfortable watch even before the bodies start falling. Box is just an unpleasant man, not unlike John Jarratt’s Mick Taylor from the WOLF CREEK franchise, with a laugh that sounds like the devil himself and untamed demeanor that makes you never want to be alone with the guy. Ingham’s Box is such a truly wretched and foul person that it is truly unsettling to watch him make these killings and corrupt Nathan in the way he does.
We’ve seen the story of THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE KILLER before in seasons of DEXTER, TRAINING DAY, and any other film about a mentor training an apprentice for what most definitely will lead to disaster. If it’s intense horror you’re looking for, THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE KILLER might not be telling a new story, but the one it tells is effectively scarring. Reminiscent of HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, this one doesn’t glorify the killer or the act of killing, but sheds the bright light of day on truly despicable acts. While it is successful in depicting the ugliness of death dealing, it is not for the casual horror fan. This one left a mark on me. It’s not a fun watch, but THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE KILLER is effective in causing a true sense of unease. You’ve been warned.