Horror movies can be so predictable. And if it’s bad, then you can count on a few things: blood, a random boob sighting, and a lot of screaming. Butcher Boys definitely has all three, but not much else. The film is written by Kim Henkel, the original screenwriter for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), and is devoid of any semblance of a story. The entire film can be summed up in chase sequences that have the Butcher Boys playing hide-and-seek with their prey while the audience fidgets in their seats and hopes it’s over soon.
The film begins normally enough, with a group of twenty-something people having dinner. You can immediately tell that one of them (and there are only four) is unintelligent in a way only a horror movie character can be. Things immediately spiral out of control as they’re chased by a couple of guys from the convenience store and they end up in the quiet area that is the Butcher Boys’ hunting grounds. There, they end up splitting up into a run after the Butcher Boys crash into their car. Then the dying and eating of brains begins because the Butcher Boys are… wait for it… cannibals! Gasp!
Butcher Boys is definitely dark, but essentially has no premise nor is it really scary.
Kim Henkel, after finally writing his first original screenplay in years, relies on little to no character interaction and no real back story. It’s lazy writing at its best. Directors Duane Graves and Justin Meeks try to maintain a creepy atmosphere with even creepier antagonists, but there’s nothing there to keep the momentum going. The entire cast and plot (if you want to call it a plot) is painfully boring and haphazard.
The film consists of ninety percent chase sequences. It’s boring and tiring to watch the Butcher Boys chase down the four leads so easily. Ali Faulkner runs and somehow one of the Boys manages to catch up with her without breaking a sweat. And he isn’t even running!
Does eating humans give them superpowers we aren’t aware of? We never even learn any of the characters’ names and after ten minutes into the film, this proves unnecessary since they’re all one dimensional and not worth remembering.
The Butcher Boys themselves look like they walked straight out of The Outsiders mixed in with the creepier versions of the T-Birds from Grease. The big reveal about them being cannibals doesn’t really come as shocking either because besides being fast to catch their prey, we’re not really privy to the world within which they operate. They represent the ugly side of humanity—the darker, untapped side—but within the realm of this film, it doesn’t seem that way. They’re just there and they do what they do, but once we find out, it’s not something that Graves and Meeks spend a lot of time on, which is a shame.
The editing is also a little messy. They abruptly cut to shots of the moon and random boob flashes, but they serve no purpose. They just make the boob-flashing character look stupid and leave the audience to flirt with the possibility that the Butcher Boys could quite possibly be werewolves. That would have been much more interesting.
Unfortunately, Butcher Boys is one of the more horrific attempts at a horror movie this year and maybe ever. Graves and Meeks try too hard, the movie is flat and without any substance. The chase scenes that take up three-fourths of the film will leave your eyes wandering for entertainment elsewhere. By the time the film’s over, you will wish you could somehow get back the completely wasted hour and a half of your life. Gruesome and atrocious, Butcher Boys is an awful film that you don’t ever want to sink your teeth into.