A family of sadistic butchers has dug into the backcountry and, from the deep freeze of winter to the dog days of summer, anyone who crosses their path is dead meat.
Written, produced and directed by Adrian Langley and starring the talents of Simon Phillips, Michael Swatton, Julie Mainville, Anne-Carolyn Binette, James Hicks, Frederik Storm, Nick Allan, Samantha De Bennet, and Blake Canning, Butchers is The Hills Have Eyes (1977&2006) meets Wrong Turn (2003) meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974).
…and that last sentence pretty much sums up the film. I’m not sure where to start here other than the fact that slashers aren’t really my thing. The aforementioned films, while probably high on the lists of certain horror fans, are definitely low on mine. In fact, the only slasher-esque film that I can think of that I really enjoyed was Severance (2006). What Butchers offers is more of that same vibe; a family of weirdos who captures, tortures and kills young adults stuck in the woods.
I cannot, in good faith, say that I liked the film. The characters were really cliched, the villains are carbon copies of those that have come before, and the writing very blasé. The gore was great and there were some pretty cool (albeit impractical) weapon designs and the effects team did a great job all around, but that was pretty much it. I felt like I’d seen the film before, but not in that fuzzy, nostalgic way.
Now, if you are a fan of those grindhouse slashers of yesteryear, you should probably not be taking my opinion to heart. If Wrong Turn style films are your idea of a great date night or perhaps your best-loved genre, then totally pick this up as it will absolutely quench your totally morbid thirst for gory cinema. The film successfully sets out to do what it wanted and that was to create (or perhaps re-create) a good, old-fashioned, creepy, backwater, redneck gorefest.
Butchers is more of what has come before. It doesn’t really take us anywhere new but it will satiate those with a need for family dinners and weekend getaways. All the tropes you know and love are there and you’ll get to watch some annoying, nubile newcomers get gutted over their relationships falling to pieces, literally and figuratively.
Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Butchers releases today (2/16/2021) for North American audiences and will be released in the UK across all major digital platforms from 22nd February and DVD on 8th March to coincide with National Butchers Week. Poster and trailer below.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.