Emily (Lisa Ambalavanar) is a young student in a sorority house who lacks the confidence to raise her hand in the upcoming election for sorority president. While shopping at her local mall, an incident occurs, and she meets a stranger who has animals for sale, including a cute sloth. The stranger suggests a cute animal would offer suitable friendship and that showing the creature off on social media will also gain her more attention among peers. After some consideration, Emily decides to pursue the offer.
Now, Emily is beginning to increase in both confidence and popularity among her fellow sorority girls, all thanks to her new pet sloth, whom she soon names Alpha. Given all the significant positivity and confidence, Emily publicly announces she will run for president, going against the strongest contender, Brianna (Sydney Craven). With Alpha by her side during the campaign, what could go wrong? Well, it turns out Alpha isn’t a kind-hearted sloth; instead, it’s a murderous killing machine, and now all the sorority girls are her next target.
Slotherhouse, directed by Matthew Goodhue (known for Woe (2020) and Dames (2018)), combines horror and comedy. Given the plot outline alone, it’s evident that nothing here should be taken seriously. This film will easily fit into the “it’s so bad, it’s good” category for many viewers. Most of the laughs I had came from the sloth itself, what it could do, and how some kills were conducted. Watching a sloth drive a car, being able to access the internet, and taking selfies are some examples of unexpected moments that resulted in laughing out loud.
Regarding the sloth itself, the movements and puppet work are relatively impressive. Still, it’s also evident that this so-called “cute sloth” is, in fact, fake and ugly, particularly its facial features and hair. The leading characters, sorority girls, are painful to watch and unlikeable. Granted, actress Sydney Craven, who plays the cold-hearted Brianna, gives a likable performance, but the rest of the characters and the dialogue are torturous and childish. Sorority discussions about the next president and playfulness surrounding popularity and gossip aren’t as exciting as a horror film. Whenever the sloth draws blood the film is heightened to an entirely different- ridiculous- level, for better or worse.
Overall, apart from actress Sydney Craven, the performances and characters are highly unlikeable, cheesy, and childish. I’m still processing the entire film experience. I just witnessed a murderous sloth who is also able to drive a car, access computers, take selfies, and punch a hole through a human. Is Slotherhouse a great film? Not at all. But did I laugh at many random moments and kill sequences involving a so-called “cute sloth”? You bet. The concept is different and can be great fun for the right crowd.
Slotherhouse (2023) is Available on DVD & Digital from December 6th!