Shudder review: Jeremiah Kipp’s ‘SLAPFACE’ is a genre film with unfathomable complexity.


“A boy deals with the loss of his mother by creating a dangerous relationship with a monster rumored to live in the woods.”

Brimming with trauma, Slapface is a unique horror. Bullying, neglect, and violence swirl to create a horrifying tale of a child reaching out for love. Writer-Director Jeremiah Kipp forces us to ride a rollercoaster of emotions that just keeps going around and around. If you’ve been searching for something unlike anything you’ve seen before, Slapface should be top of your list.

Some especially intriguing aspects of Kipp’s script are the mixture of family dynamics and folklore. Cleverly written in a way that combines Lukcs’ past behavior with small details that would make the other characters or even the viewer question whether the witch exists at all. The terror occurs in unexpected moments, the handling of firearms, brotherly confrontation, cyclical trauma, and normalized violence.

Lucas is played by August Maturo with an emotional depth beyond his years. His sadness and innocence have a visceral impact on the audience. You cannot help but feel for this kid. Slapface would be a solid double feature watch with The Shed. Each was created by the same questionable moral fabric. The line between protection and mayhem is so thin, it ups the tension tenfold. Slapface is a manifestation of grief, abuse, and shame. This is a story you won’t ever be able to predict. That doesn’t happen too often these days. The looming question that remains as the film fades to black is who really created the monster? Slapface‘s complexity is unfathomable.

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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