SLAPFACE on Shudder is a horror movie with a very important theme focused on bullying. The story is essentially very small – as is the cast – but it features a slow-burn and strong story. Read our full Slapface movie review here!
SLAPFACE is a new horror movie on Shudder. There is a lot of symbolism used in this horror-thriller which is manifested mostly via a supernatural monster of sorts. That eerie feeling is highlighted by the fact that a young boy becomes friends with the monster.
Since being bullied relentlessly by his peers, he finds solace in the monster. And, in turn, the monster protects him. Of course, this only means a whole new set of problems, he now has to deal with.
Continue reading our Slapface movie review below and find it on Shudder from February 4, 2022.
A boy and his monster
Slapface is a horror movie with a story about bullying as its core. And not just bullying of one person (as you might think from the plot), but bullying in general. Sure, the story is small in many ways, but the subject is huge. You almost have to focus on the small story to make an impact.
And Slapface does make an impact with a slow-burn and strong story.
Lucas and Tom are brothers who only have one another left after their mom dies in a car accident. Younger brother Lucas becomes fascinated by local myths of a monster and believes this monster could be an additional part of his extended family.
The monster is the stuff of legends and Lucas recites the age-old rhyme whenever he walks by the creepy abandoned hospital. However, it isn’t creepy to Lucas. Not much is when the “normal” world is one where he’s tormented by very real and present bullies.
So, when the bullying twin girls from his school (the stuff of nightmares) dare him to go inside, the rhyme comes to life and Lucas becomes friends with the monster known as the Virago witch. Slapface asks the question: “Is there a relationship more special than that of a boy and his monster?”.
Whether it gives the answer, I’ll leave it for you to find out (or decide) when you watch the movie.
A small cast that makes an impact
The main protagonist, younger brother Lucas, is portrayed by August Maturo who you might recognize from The Nun. He absolutely has to work in this role. Otherwise the story – and, as a result, the movie – doesn’t work. Fortunately, August Maturo works very well as Lucas.
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As the older brother Tom, we have Mike Manning (The Call) who has to be both a father figure and find his own way in life. He never asked to be responsible for a kid, but he clearly loves his younger brother. Unfortunately, he also likes to drink. Too much and too often. Mike Manning is great in this movie!
As long as the two key characters (the brothers) work in this movie, the story makes the necessary impact. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have an awesome supporting cast. This includes Dan Hedaya (The Usual Suspects), Libe Barer (I See You), Mirabelle Lee (The Blacklist) plus Bianca D’Ambrosio, and Chiara D’Ambrosio.
Watch Slapface on Shudder
Slapface was written and directed by Jeremiah Kipp. The subject of bullying is extremely important to him and the core parts of this story were inspired by his own childhood. Slapface also won the Audience Award at the Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, so it clearly resonates with audiences as well.
It’s based on the 2018 short film of the same name, so this is a passion project. Something that is also evident by the message just before the end credits. The film was produced by Joe Benedetto, Artisha Mann Cooper, and Mike Manning (who plays the older brother “Tom”).
Despite the fact that slow-burn isn’t for everyone, the theme of bullying is important and the story is well-told. In other words, you should absolutely check this out on Shudder.
Slapface is out on Shudder from February 4, 2022.
Director: Jeremiah Kipp
Writer: Jeremiah Kipp
Cast: August Maturo, Mike Manning, Libe Barer, Dan Hedaya, Mirabelle Lee, Lukas Hassel, Bianca D’Ambrosio, Chiara D’Ambrosio
After the death of his mother, Lucas, a loner who lives in a rundown home with his brother Tom, regularly seeks solace in the nearby woods. With his only “friends” being a group of female bullies, he keeps to himself most of the time. But, after a strange encounter with an inhuman monster, Lucas begins to withdraw from others. When the two reach a tentative trust, a bizarre friendship is born, and Lucas is swept up in a series of primal adventures.