Slice is fucking ridiculous. Supernatural beings such as ghosts, witches, and werewolves live alongside humans and are mostly well-integrated into society, the acting is absurd and over the top, and the visual effects are purposefully wacky and remincient of something you’d see in a schlocky 80s throwback as opposed to a polished product from genre giant A24. In fact, there isn’t an ounce of Slice that takes itself too seriously, and that’s a good thing–a great thing, even. In a time when horror is (thankfully) all about taking a stand and “elevating” itself, there’s something rewarding and refreshing about a silly monster mash that revolves around pizza delivery drivers getting murdered. And with heavy hitters like Chance the Rapper, Hannibal Buress, Zazie Beetz, and Chris Parnell on board, it’s no wonder why this thing made its world premiere and instantly strolled into cult-classic status.
The central narrative plays out like a classic whodunit while secondary threads are more sporadic and, frankly, unimportant. Writer/director Austin Vesely crafts a universe that feels tangible and expansive–even if we only see a small portion of it. It’s here that Slice feels more like a series pilot than a feature film, and that will undoubtedly rub some viewers the wrong way. Nevertheless, rarely a second passed that I wasn’t thoroughly entertained either by way of legitimate laughter or rolling my eyes at some of the more ridiculous attempts at comedy. Vesely is somehow able to to charm his way out of comedic whiffs; a luxury that is possible in part due to the deliveries of his razor sharp cast.
All involved turn in performances that fit right at home in the zanie town of Kingfisher, but it’s Beetz, Buress, and Rae Grey that anchor the insanity. Even newcomer Chancelor “Chance the Rapper” Bennett exceeded my expectations with his appropriately bashful portrayal of Dax the werewolf. The beauty of making such a wild and outlandish film is that it’s sort of hard to fail. That’s a pro move, Vesely. Well done.
In the end, Slice will not be for everyone. That much seemed obvious with A24’s lone theatrical date followed by an instant digital release. There are side plots that go virtually nowhere, characters that don’t seem to matter at all, and jokes that fall flat on their faces. Why are the cops riding around in a 1930s mob mobile? What happened to the 40,000 ghosts? Where are all the other werewolves and supernatural monsters? … Who cares? Stop asking questions and enjoy this one for the stupid, mindless fun that it is. It’ll be a far greater experience if you do. My biggest gripe is that it’s only a single slice. I’d like another, please.
Slice is available on digital platforms right now.
‘Slice’ Serves Up a Charming and Goofy Instant Cult Classic [Review]