Waynesville Mail

When Denim Strikes Back: a Unique Blend of Horror and Social Commentary



Genre: Comedy, Horror
Year Released: 2020
Runtime: 1h 16m
Director(s): Elza Kephart
Writer(s): Patricia Gomez, Elza Kephart
Cast: Brett Donahue, Erica Anderson, Jonathan Emond, Kenny Wong, Romane Denis, Sehar Bhojani, Stephen Bogaert, Tianna Nori
Where To Watch: Streaming now, visit www.thehorrorcollective.com for more information

RAVING REVIEW: SLAXX presents a fun premise of revenge-seeking jeans animated by the spirits of exploited workers, seamlessly blending horror and social commentary. Yep, you read that right; fun! This eccentric horror comedy shines a light on capitalism's dark corners and the harsh treatment of laborers. SLAXX has a unique origin story and timely themes. The film's themes manage to be in your face but in such a way that you can still enjoy the movie without being bogged down.

I think I enjoyed this more than most, and I’ll be honest, it has some issues, but as a whole, you get exactly what you think you should, with a bit of thought-provoking commentary mixed in. The film plunges viewers into a shopping mall and a group of stereotypical employees that covers the gauntlet of what you’d experience in a real mall. While a horror movie at heart, there is enough fun and dark comedy mixed in that makes the film a real mix of the two. The horror isn’t perfect, and neither is the comedy, but together they’re a fun ride that delivers.

On a more serious note, the film tackles the exploitation of developing nations by wealthier countries, but that narrative is just part of the experience. There is no hiding the message the filmmakers wanted to share, and ultimately that’s okay. I read a few other reviews that got angry about a horror film trying to have a message to it, and I can only assume those people would be on the wrong side of this story.

SLAXX boasts some well-done special effects for most of the film, with only a few scenes sticking out. While some characters are incessantly annoying, I think they play their roles perfectly. If you doubt that, visit some high-end clothing stores in the mall and then return and let me know how you feel.

Romane Denis, as Libby, is the standout performance as the movie's most relatable character. She defines the modern generation of employees and how they look at a retail job. In comparison, she isn’t “crazy” like most cast members; her relatability to Gen Z shines. While some similarities exist to other films regarding “haunted” items killing, the rest is a fun self-contained experience. Clocking in at about 80 minutes, it's an easy watch for any horror fan.

At the heart of SLAXX lies its social commentary, with writers Patricia Gomez and Elza Kephart addressing the exploitation of workers in developing countries and the hypocrisy embedded in the fashion world.

In summary, SLAXX is fun yet, at times, an uneven movie showcasing creativity and amusement. When push comes to shove, the film delivers exactly what you want from it. If you watch the trailer and are expecting anything different, I think that’s on you. Despite the few shortcomings, SLAXX remains an intriguing watch for fans of offbeat horror comedies and serves as a conversation starter about the darker aspects of the fashion industry.

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[photo courtesy of ENTERTAINMENT SQUAD]