There’s an undertow in the horror movie world in particular of what one would refer to as filmic clickbait, or the Red Letter Media guys recently coined as “watchbait”–films with absurd premises or titles in which no one involved is actually trying to craft an effective movie, but simply capitalize on a dumb, punny title or semi-marketable joke in an effort to con a sufficient number of streaming views to make enough profit to do it all over again. One crawl through the Tubi horror library will showcase more of these types of horror flicks than even the most committed fan would ever want to see, but they keep right on coming. Look no further than the likes of Slotherhouse, which dropped its goofy first trailer today, which you can see below.
If you were wondering from that title whether Slotherhouse implied a house in which human beings are being killed en masse by a sloth, then yes, you would be correct. This looks to be a dumb, throwback animal slasher of the sort that once created movies like Shakma, retooled for the streaming era. As the official synopsis describes it:
It’s senior year of college for sorority sister Emily Young and for the first time ever, Sigma Lambda Theta is having elections for who will be president. Wanting to have a killer year, Emily Young realizes she might just be the best option for her sorority. While beginning her campaign, she finds an adorable sloth that steals her heart and soon realizes she just might steal the hearts, and votes, of her sorority sisters. But when bodies slowly begin to pile up in the Sigma Lambda Theta house, Emily and her sorority sisters realize the deaths are being caused by their new house mascot, the cuddly sloth Alpha. Will Emily and her sisters escape the house with their lives? Or is this death-sloth with 3 razor sharp claws too quick for them?
The sloth puppet here, naturally, isn’t much like a sloth at all–it’s not slow, but fast, which robs the film of what could have been its one amusing gimmick, trying to piece together how the sloth would kill each person while moving at a glacial pace. Instead, the trailer posits that “maybe they’ve just trick us all” about being slow in the first place, which begs the question: What’s the point of using a sloth as an antagonist if it doesn’t behave like a sloth? But I digress; Slotherhouse is not a concept that deserves even this much scrutiny.
Amusingly, Slotherhouse‘s marketing says it will be in “theaters nationwide on August 30,” something difficult to square with the fact that the official website URL, www.slotherhouse.com, appears to not go anywhere at all. Somehow, we suspect that they’ve taken a fairly generous definition of “nationwide” on this one. But while you wait for the sloth-related film event of the summer, you can check out the trailer below.