SQUEALER is a new horror-thriller inspired by the real events of a serial killer who butchered people and sold the meat. The movie itself is a real mess, unfortunately. A brilliant cast, but it all feels strangely off. Read our full Squealer review here!
SQUEALER is a new thriller inspired by a true story. The horror element comes from that true story involving a serial killer, who worked as a butcher and sold the meat of his human victims. Also, despite being billed as starring Tyrese Gibson and Theo Rossi, it really doesn’t. They are in it, but not the stars of it.
This is a brilliant premise for a dark horror-thriller, but it feels more like a campy take on it. Though played with a straight face. To be honest, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. On paper, it should work, but it just doesn’t. It really doesn’t.
Continue reading our Squealer movie review below. Find it in theaters, digital, and On Demand from November 3, 2023.
Inspired by real events
Officially, Squealer is about a small town, where young women are disappearing. Usually women from out-of-town or those working the streets. In other words, the kind of victims that won’t be missed. Instead, they will be presumed as having simply “moved on” to a new and better life.
Fortunately, a street-smart social worker is paying attention. Even more fortunate, her sort-of ex is a police officer, who can help in further the investigation. As viewers, we already know that the girls have their final moments of horror at a remote pig farm.
Apparently, the local butcher – who is not someone I would ever be buying anything edible from – has slaughtered much more than pigs.
If there’s one thing, I will give Squealer, it’s that it has a solid premise, some good performances, and is based on a real-life horror story. Or rather, not a story, but actual events. While more than one serial killer has been guilty of tasting the flesh of their victims, it seems Squealer is especially inspired by Robert Pickton or maybe Joe Metheny?
You can read up on Robert Pickton on Wikipedia here or an article written about Joseph Roy Metheny here. The latter was written after Joe Metheny was found dead in prison. I recommend reading both. Chilling stuff!
Not so much bloodcurdling as kitsch
Admittedly, the story of Squealer is absolutely bloodcurdling. However, calling this movie “Bloodcurling Horror” is not something I can recognize. In fact, many of the darker and more brutal scenes have a strange slasher element. I mean slasher as in a more kitsch horror movie than the brutal violence you might expect.
Also, saying that Tyrese Gibson and Theo Rossi (Sons of Anarchy) star is hardly correct. They are in the movie and portray key supporting characters. However, where Tyrese Gibson plays the same character as in other movies (including Helen’s Dead which comes out on the same day), Theo Rossi is having fun with his character.
Another supporting role is Kate Moennig (Ray Donovan, The L Word), who is someone I love. In this movie, she’s having the same crazy time as Theo Rossi. I think it’s the outfits they’re both made to wear. This makes them go all out. I can’t say I blame them, as they are both clearly acting based on their respective looks.
The real stars of this movie are Wes Chatham (Tenet) as the police officer, Danielle Burgio (Army of the Dead) as the social worker, and Ronnie Gene Blevins (The Conjuring 3, What Josiah Saw) as the serial killer. All three of them deliver solid performances.
Watch Squealer in theaters or on demand
The director of Squealer is Andy Armstrong, who has an amazing career of working with stunts. Especially on some of the huge Marvel movies in more recent years. As a director, however, this is his first time directing in this millennium. He directed a TV movie and three episodes of a TV series in the 1990s.
The screenplay comes from director Andy Armstrong and star (one of the actual stars of the movie) Danielle Burgio. While there is clearly a good story there, the dialogue often falls a bit flat and the pacing is very slow. Scenes that should take a few minutes are dragged out far beyond what’s necessary. Or good.
Also, there’s the braless police officer constantly flirting with her colleague. Those scenes feel like a spoof at the beginning of an adult movie. I can’t even tell if it’s meant as such because there’s no kitsch or campy vibe to those particular scenes. It’s just weird.
Overall, this is 100 minutes of a whole lot of strange moments. All meant to tell an intriguing story but getting lost along the way. A shame really, because it could’ve been so much better.
Squealer is out In Theaters, On Digital, and On Demand from November 3, 2023.
Director: Andy Armstrong
Writers: Danielle Burgio, Andy Armstrong
Cast: Wes Chatham, Kate Moennig, Danielle Burgio, with Theo Rossi and Tyrese Gibson
When young women start disappearing in a small town, a police officer and a street-smart social worker follow clues to a remote pig farm, where they discover the local butcher has been bringing his work home.