A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Slaughterhouse Rulez is a 2018 horror-comedy in which an elite English boarding school must contend with monsters unleashed out of a sinkhole caused by fracking. Profanity is constant throughout the movie, including "f--k," "c--ts," and "motherf----r," along with nearly every other swear word, used by kids and teens as well as adults. A big rumor in the boarding school is that the older teen students get to engage in orgies; upon stumbling into a Roman Empire-themed party replete with teen students binge-drinking and making out, two young boys who are spying on the scene make commentary as to what a couple who are making out will engage in next. Teens smoke and drink, and one of the lead teen characters uses snuff. Attempted suicide is shown, by hanging, with a rifle between the feet. Some violence is shown: Characters' limbs and heads are ripped off, with some blood. There's some bullying. On the positive side, the movie does try to raise the issue of fracking and its damage on the environment. Overall, it attempts to be a dark satire on boarding school life, English society, and current events.
- Parents say
- Kids say
There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What's the story?
After the death of his father, Don Wallace (Finn Cole) is sent to Slaughterhouse Academy, an elite boarding school in SLAUGHTERHOUSE RULEZ. Upon arriving, Don soon discovers that the school isn't all it was cracked up to be in the video brochures. The school's pompous headmaster (Michael Sheen) is more concerned with tradition rather than the hazing and rumors of orgies that the school's older teen students are engaging in while terrorizing the younger students. Don's new roommate Willoughby (Asa Butterfield) hints at the school's undertones of violence, and Don soon finds himself in the crosshairs of lead bully Clegg after Don develops a crush on Clemsie. But that's only the beginning. A company in cahoots with the headmaster is fracking the land beyond the woods of the school grounds, where drug-taking hippies have set up camp to protest. A sinkhole emerges, unleashing bloodthirsty monsters -- and even darker secrets of the school's past.
Is it any good?
This doesn't quite succeed as a comedy-horror movie, especially since the horror isn't especially scary or suspenseful. The boarding school setting is packed with the kinds of stock characters one would expect to see in a movie set in a boarding school. The satire of cliques, status, and class (social and economic, as well as the classroom) doesn't break any new ground, and the use of fracking as a central aspect of the story comes off as clumsy and forced. Furthermore, so much of the humor is rooted in the kind of locker room humor from '80s teen movies, self-aware or not, that the movie comes off more as self-parody than satire.
Considering the talent involved, it's natural to expect Slaughterhouse Rulez to be much better than it is. But many of the characters never really get a chance to shine, or emerge out of their obvious and overdone stock character cocoons. The comedy and the horror of the genre work against each other, resulting in very little of either. Everything seems to cancel everything else out, for that matter. Fracking competes with suicidal gay teens, bizarre hazing rituals, rumors of teen orgies, unleashed monsters, the English class system, etc., to the point where it's all so much noise, and all of that gets drowned out by the constant profanity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about satire. How is satire used in Slaughterhouse Rulez to address serious issues both in and out of the boarding school?
Was the profanity necessary to convey a sense of realism, or did it seem like it was used as a way to get cheap laughs?
Did the characters seem like stereotypes? Or were they parodies of the types of characters one might see in boarding schools, or at least in movies about boarding schools?
- In theaters: October 31, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: June 18, 2019
- Cast: Michael Sheen, Margot Robbie, Asa Butterfield
- Director: Crispian Mills
- Studio: Sony Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: Bloody violence, language throughout, sexual content, and some drug use.
- Last updated: October 17, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love horror
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch