THERE are few tricks and no treats in writer-director Crispian Mills’s painfully outdated horror comedy set at an elite seat of learning for future prime ministers in leafy Gloucestershire.
From the moment Michael Sheen wafts into view as the school’s money-grabbing headmaster, who forgets that girls have been permitted into the hallowed halls, Slaughterhouse Rulez goes into special measures.
The script grinds through two gears – pedestrian and frenetic – and signposts deaths by positioning cast in front of a door or window so they can be torn limb from limb by carnivorous beasts, which emerge from a fracking sinkhole.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost co-star as misfits at the centre of the copious blood-letting but this is definitely not another instalment of the duo’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy comprising Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. They share one brief and superfluous scene, which is notable for an uncomfortable absence of laughs.
More troubling, former Kula Shaker frontman Mills engineers a fight with one critter which – supposedly – necessitates actress Hermione Corfield losing her schoolgirl’s blouse so the camera and co-stars can ogle her exposed body.
If a male character offered his shirt in response and went topless to defend her honour, perhaps the scene might not feel so grubby and leering.
A fail grade for on-screen gender equality and representation.
Don Wallace (Finn Cole) is crestfallen when his mother Babs (Jo Hartley) secures him a last-minute bed at Slaughterhouse School, where cadet training and golf are part of the curriculum.
“It’s like a very exclusive holiday camp!” Babs ★★★★★
FORMER FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) marries the surgeon who amputated his leg after a botched mission, in this high-rise adventure. The couple raise two children (McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell) and temporarily move to Hong Kong, where Will is a security consultant. After six months assessing the safety of The Pearl, the world’s tallest superstructure, a band of terrorists storms the building and sets the 96th floor ablaze. Will is framed for the crime and must evade police to regain access to the flaming structure, where Sarah and the kids are trapped above the inferno. ■ Download/stream from from November 5 and on DVD/Blu-ray from November 19.
Michael Sheen as Mr Chapman aka The Bat