The 400-Word Review: Slaxx
By Sean Collier
March 18, 2021
Sometimes, the premise is all you need. I needed no further information, for example, when I learned that the new horror movie “Slaxx” was about a murderous, rampaging pair of pants.
It doesn’t have to be rocket science. Promise me a movie with killer jeans, and then have the jeans kill some people. Set an achievable goal and reach it.
There’s more to “Slaxx,” even though it needed no more than a setting and ravenous denim to get to the finish line. Elza Kephart’s film takes place almost exclusively inside a hyper-chic, Instagram-ready storefront of the fictional Canadian Cotton Clothiers brand, a performatively woke label specializing in overpriced business casual.
Our soon-to-be-final girl, Libby (Romane Denis), is a new hire, thrilled to be on the team; she’s a true believer in the company’s mission. Most of her coworkers, including the sullen Shruti (Sehar Bhojani), are less enthused; aspirational store manager Craig (Brett Donahue) is on the warpath, demanding breakneck efforts to ready the store for a hyped new product launch. The team works overnight, under a strict lockdown, to prepare for the throngs of shoppers that will arrive the following morning for the “Monday Madness” sale.
Unfortunately, that new product happens to be our murderous trousers, a pair of body-shaping jeans with an unhappy origin. It seems that Canadian Cotton Clothiers’ sourcing may not be as ethical as they claim, and an aggrieved something has revenge plans (related to pant-caused mayhem).
The commentary, as you might have guessed, is about dehumanization in the face of capitalism, from the workers in the fields up to and including the staffers selling the goods. (By the time the credits roll, the consumers will share the blame.) Some of it is appropriately targeted, some of it feels too broad — a predictably ill fate awaits the narcissistic influencer invited to film the launch — and a few moments are muddled.
That hardly matters, though, for two reasons. First: It’s 77 minutes long, blessedly, so the few missteps are fleeting. And more importantly: We’re here to see the pants kill people. And boy do the pants kill people. Knotted-leg stranglings, cinched-waist constriction, fast-zipper dismemberment — these are creatively violent jeans.
In the best moments of the film, the pants hunch over a victim, back pockets scanning the room like eyes, the butt seeming to sniff like a hunting velociraptor. What more could you possibly want?
My Rating: 7/10
“Slaxx” is streaming on Shudder.