Horror Releases: Slaxx (2021) - Reviewed

When it comes to horror films, we’ve seen a lot of unconventional “killer” objects over the years.  Killer tomatoes, killer tires, killer sofas...the list is endless.  Never have we seen, however, stylish denim come to life and brutally murder a retail store full of people...until now.


Libby (Romane Denis) is a young, wide-eyed girl excited to land her first job as a retail associate at Canadian Cotton Clothiers (or “CCC” for short), a chain of trendy clothing stores that pride themselves in their reputation for only selling socially and environmentally conscious products.  It’s Libby’s first day on the job and CCC is about to launch a groundbreaking new style of denim with the ability to intelligently adapt to the wearer’s body type, but it turns out they’re a little too intelligent for their own good.  Made from a batch of cursed cotton, the jeans begin to come to life and take out the store’s employees the night before the official launch.  Talk about killer fashion!

One of Slaxx’s most appealing qualities is the fact that it’s able to bring in the laughs, but also attempts to have a message.  While there’s obvious humor in the absurdity of jeans coming to life, it isn’t complacent in repeating a single joke until the end and never plays the “it’s so bad that it’s good” card.  The movie is a scathing commentary on corporate greed, companies’ faux-humanitarian efforts to improve their image, and the shallowness of the fashion industry altogether.  For instance, the store’s manager Craig (Brett Donahue) is so hell-bent on the launch going well that when dead bodies start showing up, he’d rather go to great lengths to hide them than have blood-thirsty bottoms hurt his numbers.  It’s a film that isn’t so in love with its basic premise that it forgets about the rest, and while it’s heavy-handed at times in its commentary, sometimes with incongruous tones, it’s a rewarding watch overall.

Kudos to director and co-writer Elza Kephart for allowing this fairly simple film to exude personality.  All of the actors fit their roles beautifully, and the script has many genuinely funny and even surprising moments.  While the characters are mostly two-dimensional, they serve their purpose well, and when some of the more vapid characters meet their fates, it feels deeply satisfying like a modern morality tale playing out, with these rabid jeans punishing people for their vanity.   

 Even more satisfying is how masterfully the special effects team was able to bring pairs of jeans to life.  For such a nonsensical premise, it’s relatively easy to get immersed in the bizarre world they paint because the effects are entirely convincing.  The visual gags are bountiful and brilliant here, and the deadly denim never runs out of ways to kill its next victim.  Combined with some creative shots and tight editing, the film is a joy to watch from beginning to end.  For as much talent as we see on screen, there’s just as much (if not more) working behind the scenes. 


Slaxx is the murderous jean movie you never knew you wanted, but need in your life immediately.  The perfect blend of humor and gore, it understands its strengths and basks in them.  It has a gloriously 80s spirit about it that makes it an endlessly entertaining watch.  If you’re a horror fan that likes to have fun, don’t slack in watching Slaxx.

—Andrea Riley