There are plenty of reasons to oppose fracking.
Here’s another one.
Apparently, it unleashes unspeakable fleash-eating beasts who will emerge from the depths to gobble you whole. Whether it’s enough to sustain a whole film is another matter, however. Slaughterhouse Rulez, overreliant on easy gore, endless blood splattering and constant swearing, is only ever fleetingly funny, rarely interesing and much more often tedious.
Slaughterhouse is an outwardly terribly posh public school where brats are groomed for greatness. In fact, it’s a corrupt, failing den of bullying and ghastly behaviour, typified by its heateacher who is permitting fracking in his grounds in some kind of belief that it will somehow save the country from bankruptcy and keep us from having to use Chinese power.
The head, Martin Sheen, has got a dog called Mr Chips. You know it’s only a matter of time before sometime says “Goodbye, Mr Chips.” It’s that kind of film – set in an odd mix of Hogwarts and St Trinian’s and eventually ending up as Shaun of the Dead, without ever once aspiring to terribly much originality or indeed terribly much interest.
The opening hour is a snooze, often in fairly questionable taste. The rest of it is increasingly a blood bath as the order is reversed, a bunch of students taking the lead as the gruesome beasties are unleashed by the thoughtless frackers.
Sheen’s unctuous headmaster is probably the pick of the bunch; Simon Pegg’s lovelorn Meredith Houseman is mostly simply irritating, occasionally rallying himself to address the crisis, more often moping on the phone to the love that he has lost.
Essentially, it all comes down to Hermione Corfield as Clemsie Lawrence and Asa Butterfield as Willoughby Blake to lead the youngsters to safety as the bodies pile up around them. Well, body parts actually.
The trouble for the film is that none of it, despite the pounding music and abundance of blood, produces any tension at all in a film which is likely to leave you completely cold from first to last. It’s not completely dire. For the most part it’s just about entertaining enough. But it’s never compelling and never terribly appetising.