#44 -- Slaughter Night (2006)

Directors: Frank van Geloven $ Edwin Visser

This one is in Dutch, so be ready to read some subtitles. As a sidenote: I never knew that Sims spoke Dutch...

A group of college-age kids go on a tour of an old mine. A scary story is told by their guide, and when they reach the end, they realize that the elevator is not working. The guide goes for help, by using the emergency stairs. He ends up getting himself killed, and the kids are left to find their own way out of the mine. But being trapped down there isn't their biggest concern.

The kids pull out a Ouija board and try to contact one of the girls' dead father. In the midst, a drug addled girl goes apeshit and bashes another girl upside the head with a rock. She flees, and the group splits up. Two guys go to look for the girl, while the others try to find their way back to the entrance elevator. The second group take a look at their video camera, and they see a ghost. It is then that we realize the "apeshit" girl has actually been possessed by an evil spirit. 

Let's travel back in time for a moment, to the 1800s. A man is trying to enter Hell in order to visit his dead parents. He is attempting a ritual, in which he needs eight severed heads. He kills children in order to do this, and impales their heads on sticks. He is captured by authorities and sentenced to death. Our tour guide tells us later that the mine was used for executions. Convicted criminals were sent down to detect methane gas. If they survived the fire, they were set free. Turns out, this is how Mr. Child-murderer was killed. We are led to believe, however, that he actually did survive the fire, but was murdered anyway. Can't feel sorry for him, though, since he killed little kids and all.

Here's a tip: don't try to cart your old ass up some rickety stairs marked "dangerous."

So, he wants revenge. Of course. So, he's possessing the bodies of the trapped kids, and turning them into some kind of monsters. 

This movie was interesting. The killer's backstory was good, and he was the only one with adequate character development. The rest of the characters were somewhat developed, but not enough for us to care about them. The main character, Kris, is all right. Her father died, she's grieving, and her father helps them out via the Ouija board. I think this is a big flaw that a lot of horror movies these days are riddled with - we just don't care. I wish I could find more movies that have me on the edge of my seat, rooting for someone and becoming genuinely pissed when they get killed. But lately, it's just not happening. I don't know if film-makers have lost their ability for character development, or if they just don't care anymore.

Other than the lack of character development, this movie was pretty good. It had nice visuals, especially the scenes of "flashbacks" to when the child murderer was caught. They were vague, but very appealing to me. The possessed/monster kids were neat looking, but not scary. The only memorable kill was when one of the demon girls had her head cut in half by a shovel-type instrument.

I don't feel like I wasted my time with this. I stayed interested throughout the whole thing, even though I didn't really care who made it out alive. So I suppose that's reason enough to give it three stars. I feel the same about this one as I have for most lately - meh. But Dutch is an interesting language - something like a mix between Sims, German, and English. They curse in English, it seems; the only part I could understand without reading being: "Fucking shit!" 

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