Animal attack films have been mildly popular since the 1950s when ants or arachnids were the main stars. Arthropods have remained a reliant killer animal, but were overshadowed in the 90s by reptiles, until Deep Blue Sea (1999) was released, and sharks took over the genre. There is a subgenre, though, that filmmakers seldom visit—the animals-that-aren’t-scary attack genre.
In the 1970s, there were a few made: Frogs (1972), Night of the Lepus (1972), and Squirm (1976) all were straight films that showed us that even an earthworm or a bunny could kill. In more recent years, the subgenre is mainly used in comedy horror films like Black Sheep (2006), Zombeavers (2014) and now Slotherhouse.
Slotherhouse, like the title implies, is about killer sloths. Real slow dudes, but so are Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers so who are we to judge them. Chucky is a literal doll and he’s gotten eight films and a series, so why not sloths?
The film is mainly a teen comedy set in a sorority house where the mean girls rule, and our protagonists are eclipsed in their shadow. That is until our main girl gets a sloth. Can she win the presidency against the evilest mean girl now that she has that sloth clout? Uncertain.
The sloth sounds like Gizmo and looks like a cheap sloth puppet, it’s also highly intelligent as it can read, operate a computer and poison people that slight it. It doesn’t take long for the swift-challenged Xenarthra to start slaughtering the sorority girls without anyone noticing or commenting on how sloths aren’t able to open bottles of beer.
The problems movies like this have is that they are really just one joke and it’s hard to make one joke sustain 90 minutes of film. Slotherhouse manages to do it, mostly. The first two acts are the oblivious stage where nobody realizes the danger, while the third act turns into a “killer in the house” flick. It’s stupid but entertaining enough to kill an hour and a half.