All style but no substance. Slice is a comedy that parodies common tropes from the horror film genre. Unfortunately, the story isn’t very interesting and it doesn’t have any real humour to match. Ironically these issues make Slice feel more like a B-grade horror film, instead of an original modern classic.
The story is set in the town of Kingfisher where ghosts, werewolves, and witches live among humans in Middle America. When pizza delivery boys are being mysteriously murdered off, a small group of individuals must work together to find out who’s responsible. Featuring a charismatic cast of Chance the Rapper, Zazie Beets (“Domino” from Deadpool 2), Joe Keery (“Steve Harrington” from Stranger Things), Hannibal Buress (The Eric Andre Show) and Chris Parnell (“Jerry” from Rick and Morty), it’s a shame their talents are much higher than what the script is trying to be.
My main gripe with Slice is the lack of humour for what’s meant to be a comedy. There are not that many jokes and when they do come, they’re nothing laugh out loud worthy. Some gags work by being meta, given the film parodies common tropes from the horror film genre and subtly points this out throughout. But most jokes were simply on the level of being mildly amusing.
The majority of the story seems to just pass along and I found myself quickly being bored. Events do happen but I didn’t really care how they mattered for the story. If I was to grade the conflicts in the film, I’d give them a pass for moving the plot along but a fail from an engagement standpoint.
This also wasn’t helped by the fact I held little interest for any of the characters in the film. Which is surprising because I like Chris Parnell and Chance the Rapper, but not even my inclined bias of seeing them together in a film could lift my interest factor. Every character lacks any real punch in personality. The story writes them as pawns to move the story from point A to B but doesn’t give much charm to make them interesting. It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. And the journey these characters take is nothing special to watch.
The aspect I enjoyed most about Slice was the aesthetics visuals. The film works to parody the style of the horror films it parodies and in my opinion, the artistic team managed to do a great job in this regard. You can even gather this from the marketing poster, which uses a yellow bolded calligraphy style for its title that makes it look like an 80’s horror film. Part of this is also supported by the story which has elements reminiscent of horror films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Slice takes ideas from horror films and tries making something original from them. Unfortunately, for me, it falls flat as a classic horror film in its own right. There are nice homages to films that horror fans might love and which could make Slice worthwhile.
In my opinion, The Cabin in the Woods has already done this with a far more intelligent and engrossing script. If you haven’t seen our review for that film, I’d recommend giving it a read if you’re interested in a horror film that works by parodying other films like it. I could make the same argument for Tucker and Dale vs Evil but The Cabin in the Woods is a personal favorite I always recommend to those that enjoy horror.
But if Slice looks interesting enough to you, I’d suggest lowering your hopes for a modern classic and enjoy it as a film that at least has good intentions. Expect the style to be the best aspect and the story, well, not so much.