01st Oct2018

‘Slice’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Zazie Beetz, Joe Keery, Hannibal Buress, Katherine Cunningham, Chris Parnell, Y’lan Noel, Paul Scheer, Rae Gray, Austin Vesely, Chance the Rapper, Rebecca Spence, Will Brill, Kelli Simpkins, Lakin Valdez, Gary Houston | Written and Directed by Austin Vesely


Slice posits itself as A24’s 80’s horror throwback in the same vein as John Carpenters eerie methodical camp aesthetic in The Fog, combined with his comedic prowess of Big Trouble Little China, albeit threaded together on a very, very bad day at the office.

In a spooky small town, when a slew of pizza delivery boys are slain on the job, two daring survivors (Zazie Beetz and Chance the Rapper) set out to catch the culprits behind the cryptic crime spree. Slice is director Austin Vesely’s first feature film after helming music videos for Chance’s “Sunday Candy” and “Angels.” Somehow, this mystery involves both a werewolf and a pizza restaurant built on a gateway to hell.

The biggest incentive to watch Slice is not the B-movie tropes but actually that of newcomer Zazie Beetz, hot off the press after her role in Deadpool 2 and the upcoming Todd Phillips/Joaquin Pheonix independent Joker movie, as well the feature debut of Chicago hip/hop artist Chance the Rapper. The outcome of both performances are quite frankly terrible, but not necessarily the perpetrators of why Slice is such a colossal misfire. Firstly, both performers aren’t actually the main characters of the film, if not having ten minutes shared between them, disappointingly so. Joe Kerry has little to nothing to do, aside from a brief cameo, which can be mostly said for all relatively well-known cast with Hannibal Buress a prime example. All are far too briefly used and literally disappear throughout the film and not contextually. Secondly, the screenplay and dialogue in certain scenes, in particular, anything with Chance the Rapper is the nail on the chalk board painful.

An issue with Slice is that it goes far too deep in a mythology that the audience knows little to nothing about, even after the end credits, so little is explored or even addressed. Almost as if you’re expected to just run with it and unfortunately it’s far too poorly executed even in that fashion for an audience to simply engage with. Even the horror tropes and conventions are just not here in any form of energy or intrigue, poorly executed with CGI similar to that of Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters remake/reboot, take that as you will.

Slice is out now in the US. No word on a UK debut as yet.


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