“There was a moment in there where this crazy lady was shouting about how the city was paying a penance and how we brought this on ourselves. So bizarre…”
“What the fuck does that have to do with pizza?”
Slice is a 2018 American horror comedy film, written and directed by Austin Vesely. The film stars Chance Bennett, Zazie Beetz, Chris Parnell, Paul Scheer, and Rae Gray.
It was theatrically released on September 10, 2018, by A24.
Welcome to Kingfisher, it used to be the home of demons, witches, ghosts and werewolves but not anymore. After a beautification project, Kingfisher is for the living and has moved all the ghosts to a nearby abandoned town. We begin by following our local Perfect Pizza Place deliveryman Sean Hammerschmidt (Austin Vesely). He’s out making a delivery to the Ghost Town area, where the town’s 40,000 ghost citizens reside. After ringing the doorbell of the customer, he promptly has his throat slit from behind. And thus our mystery begins…
King fisher Chronicle reporter Sadie Sheridan (Rae Grey) attends Mayor Tracy’s press conference regarding Sean’s murder. Mayor Tracy is interrupted by shouting from Debbie. She’s a local activist and member of the group Justice 40,000, which seeks to demolish the Halcyon Square on which Perfect Pizza is located. Group leader Vera Marcus later leads a protest outside of Perfect Pizza. We discover that Halcyon Square used to be the home of an asylum, where 40,000 ghosts resided and many bodies are left unburied below it.
We’re introduced to Detective Steve Marsh and Detective Bradley who are investigating Sean’s murder. They discover evidence that Sean was running drugs (literally a drawing of pizza on a piece of paper, and never explained…) for dealer Big Cheese .
After hearing about his murder on TV, Astrid (Zazie Beetz) returns to her old workplace. Determined to solve Sean’s murder, Sean’s ex-girlfriend asks Perfect Pizza owner Jack for her old job back. Jack sends out Astrid along with other Perfect Pizza employees Thomas “Scooter” Martinez, Heather, and Joe, the latter of whom is a ghost.
Kingfisher Chronicles own, Sadie, begins to research into the murder case. This leads her to a previous string of murders when the Perfect Pizza Place used to be Yummy Yummy Chinese Cuisine. The prime suspect in those murders was deliveryman Dax Lycander (Chance Bennett), a werewolf who disappeared, but was recently seen riding his moped around Kingfisher.
Astrid shirks her job duties to confront Big Cheese, a drug dealer, over Sean’s murder. Astrid puts a knife to Big Cheese’s throat, but flees when the police arrive. Detective Marsh and Detective Bradley take Big Cheese in for questioning, who implies that Dax Lycander is back. Meanwhile, Scooter is killed while making a delivery, and Dax is spotted at the scene of the crime.
The leaders of Justice 40,000, Vera and Debbie visit Mayor Tracy to demand he tear down the Perfect Pizza Base to prevent vengeful ghosts from killing again. It is revealed that Justice 40,000 and Mayor Tracy are actually in a joint conspiracy build public support for the site’s demolition in order to resell the property.
Detective Marsh and Bradley spot a moped and chase down Dax. During a junkyard chase in which Dax saves Bradley’s life, Marsh arrests Dax. They begin questioning Dax Lysander.
Will he give up the goods or is there more to his story than they thought?
Honestly from simply reading this description, Slice sounds way better than it is and that’s how it gets you. From Slice’s concept to its incredible aesthetic, you think it’s surely got it in the bag. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. More horrifyingly, Slice isn’t just bad, it’s really boring. Since Strangers Things and other 80’s themed shows, modern films have taken on a trend. In the past you could spot a shitty film a mile off, but modern trashy movies fool you with their aesthetic. You’re easily drawn in by fancy cameras and neon lighting but when you get into it, it’s all style and zero substance. Aesthetic can no longer get extra points when every movie can do the neon 80’s film vibe, it’s no longer special.
Slice is shockingly bad, and as I mentioned incredibly dull. It was hard to continue watching at times. The dialogue was awkward and poorly delivered, it made for uncomfortable viewing. The acting was hammy, which I fully expect in a horror comedy but not every single character. And speaking of acting, the worst culprit was our feature werewolf (Chance Bennett). His lines were awful, his motives made no sense and he clearly should have been the most fascinating character but was the most tedious of the bunch. A close second is the journalist (Rae Grey), I’m pretty certain she’s supposed to be the main character (maybe?) but she’s painful to watch and her performance is utter trite.
Horror comedy is my favourite genre of horror, so I’ve seen it all. The worst thing a horror comedy can be is boring, especially with every gimmick in the playbook in one film.
Slice not only bored me, made me uncomfortable but adding insult to injury, there’s pretty much no gore at all. The gore we do get is poorly done to boot. As I said I’ve seen a lot of horror comedy and low budget horrors, I understand shying away from effects and hiding that your film has no money but this film did it very poorly and didn’t utilize the effects it did have access to. Slice hands down has the worst werewolf I’ve ever seen in cinema but sadly that’s probably the best effect in the movie.
The biggest crime of all, in the entire film is how much talking they do. The dialogue is bad but that’s all there is! There’s very little actual action or anything besides a gaggle of characters discussing their next move.
In conclusion, most horror comedies are designed to be hammy, trashy and low budget and I’ve seen it done well time and time again. But in the modern era, more attention is being given to the aesthetic rather than content and trashy horror movies are becoming just simply that, trash.