Slaxx is a 2020 Canadian horror comedy film directed by Elza Kephart, who co-wrote the film with Patricia Gomez.
Idealistic teenager Libby McClean arrives at trendy clothing store Canadian Cotton Clothiers for her first day of work. In addition to store manager Craig, Libby meets self-absorbed and disgruntled employees. Including Shruti, Hunter, Jemma, and Lord. Company founder Harold Landsgrove briefly visits to give a spirited speech to employees preparing for the highly anticipated launch of Super Shapers. Designer jeans capable of conforming to any body type.
Jemma steals a pair of the jeans from a storeroom. The jeans constrict around Jemma’s waist until she is torn in half. Craig sends Hunter to look for Jemma. Hunter finds the jeans and becomes entranced. Hunter tries putting on the pants, but they twist until she falls and impales her head on a coat hook. Craig sends Libby to look for Jemma and Hunter.
Libby finds Jemma’s mangled body and alerts Craig. Worried that police or media could complicate his chance at a promotion, Craig convinces Libby to keep Jemma’s death quiet. Since they are on overnight lockdown until the new line launches anyway. Lord finds the jeans. The zipper severs several of Lord’s body parts. The waist then forms a mouth that bites Lord to death. Libby again asks to call the cops after finding Lord as a box of body parts. Craig knocks Libby unconscious to stop her.
Fashion blogger and social media influencer Peyton Jewels arrives with a small crew to record a sneak preview of the jeans. The jeans strangle Peyton on camera before going on a rampage that kills everyone else in the store except Shruti. Craig realizes what is happening when he sees the jeans lapping up blood on the floor.
What is going on… A killer pair of jeans? Can they be stopped? Should they be stopped? Watch and find out.
So, I have to start off by saying that Slaxx has a very honourable message. I don’t think there’s many out there who disagree that slave labour to create fast fashion is evil and wrong. But I don’t feel that this was the right platform to share this idea.
Slaxx starts off as a fun horror comedy. It’s all set up, ripe with bitchy and vapid stereotypes walking about the place ready to be killed off. You root for the people to be killed off, sure but you don’t support the killer jeans – they’re a means to an end. But somewhere along the line, the movie goes from laughs to wanting you to take a pensive moment to contemplate what’s happening. It wants you to support the killer jeans, because damn it, they have a story to tell. I’m sorry but, I don’t watch horror movies to be beaten over the head with a message. Just like we don’t want to feel sorry for a Xenomorph having its eggs burnt (hey, what if she was actually a single mum just trying to get by!), I don’t want to feel sorry for a pair of possessed jeans strangling people and drinking their blood.
The concept is original, I’ll give it that. The metaphor is clever – she’s literally a part of the product, I get it – but I can’t laugh and feel anguish for a child labourer at the same time. It’s not appropriate. I don’t think disguising your movie and tricking people into watching it is going to get people to absorb the message better, it’s not subtle once it flips halfway.
Overall, Slaxx has an original concept but is not what it seems at face value. It appears to be a silly movie about a possessed pair of trousers, but *twist*, the jeans are the victim here. Its characters are empty vessels who you care so little about it doesn’t matter if they live or die. Fortunately, the gore and effects look great but there’s little else here to be excited about.
The Final Score - 3/10
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