The wolf is loose.
Slice stars Chance the Rapper as an “exonerated, pacifist werewolf,” and yet nobody is really talking about this movie anymore. What’s wrong with y’all?
From A24 and director Austin Vesely, Slice is, without a doubt, one of the more insane movies that you can watch this Halloween season.
Stick with me on this one because the plot is a bit of a doozy.
Kingfisher is normally a pretty sleepy and quiet town that’s perfectly safe to live in. It has been that way, at least, ever since Mayor Tracy (Chris Parnell) tore down the insane asylum that was located in the center of town and then relocated all the ghosts that haunted the place to their own special area.
That’s right, ghosts exist in the world of Slice and are a totally normal thing. So do werewolves, witches and black magic, so you might as well get used to that now.
Anyways, the ghosts were all placed in what is now known as ‘Ghost Town’ while Perfect Pizza Place was then built overtop of the insane asylum.
Pizza deliveryman Sean Hammerschmidt (Vesely) is off making a stop in Ghost Town when, out of the blue, tragedy strikes. He’s found later that evening with his throat slit, launching three separate investigations into how this could have happened.
The first is led by Detectives Steve Marsh and Bradley (Will Brill). The two of them are hellbent on the conclusion that Dax Lycander (Chance the Rapper), a known werewolf, is the one behind the murder. He’s a monster, after all, and witnesses can place him near the scene around the time of the crime.
Astrid (Zazie Beetz) doesn’t really care what the police think. Given she knows that Dax is a pacifist, she’s starting her own investigation to find out what happened to her former flame, Sean. Having once worked at Perfect Pizza Place, she decides to take her old job once again, using it as a cover to begin asking some questions.
It’s Kingfisher Chronicle reporter Sadie Sheridan (Rae Gray) who really gets to the bottom of the whole thing, however. She’s the one who realizes that before Perfect Pizza Place opened up shop, it was also home to Yummy Yummy Chinese Cuisine — which eventually had to close up shop because the delivery drivers kept turning up dead.
That leads her to the conclusion that something about this property is cursed.
Turns out, she’s just about spot-on, because Perfect Pizza Place isn’t just mildly haunted or something like minor on that. It’s literally sitting on a gateway to Hell. To make matters even worse, there are a bunch of evil witches in the area who intend to open that gateway this coming full moon, meaning the world as we know it might be ending.
Oh yeah, there’s also a subplot about how Mayor Tracy is super corrupt and another one about a local drug dealer named Big Cheese (Y’Ian Noel) thrown into there, too. You know, because Slice needed even more storylines in its 83-minute runtime.
Point is, this movie is jammed back to the brim with all kinds of crazy horror and Halloween nonsense, meaning you absolutely need to be on Slice’s wavelength in order to enjoy this movie.
Luckily, I found myself easing into that wavelength pretty quickly. If you’re up for a ridiculous storyline that flies at you a mile a minute, then Slice is going to win you over fast. If you watch the first five minutes and find yourself lost at what’s happening, then you might as well just turn it off there, because the tone really doesn’t change.
I happen to like that quick-pace because I had a lot of fun with the absurdity and humor in Slice. There isn’t really time to stop and question what’s going on, given things happen so quickly, so you kind of have to let it just sweep you up and take you along for the ride.
When the end credits start to roll, you can begin to step back and analyze everything a bit more. Of course, Slice isn’t maybe as smooth as it could be (no movie with this many storylines ever could be), but I’m willing to let a lot of that go given the amount of fun everyone seems to be having here.
The cast, truly, is having a lot of fun. I haven’t ever seen Chance the Rapper act before, but he’s totally eating up the screen in Slice, having a blast.
Zazie Beetz continues to be an actress to keep an eye on, as she gives Slice more dramatic weight than you might expect a movie like this to have. Chris Parnell, Will Brill and Paul Scheer, who plays the pizza shop owner, all had some of the funniest lines in the movie that made me laugh pretty hard. Not all the jokes land in this movie but, when they do hit, they hit hard.
Slice is a weird case that’s pretty hard to classify. It’s like Hot Fuzz meets Bright, if Bright was actually a good movie — which is funny, because Chance the Rapper went online and criticized Bright when it came out for the way it handled its racial politics. Slice might not completely, 100 percent nail it in that regard either, but there is a dash of social commentary thrown in there that can be analyzed too, which is always a welcome sight.
Again, and I can’t stress this enough, Slice isn’t a movie for everyone. This is a very niché movie that’s made for a niché audience, where others need not apply. For those who do want to see a classic ghost/werewolf/witch/demon comedy/horror/thriller/Halloween movie (you know, a totally normal genre), then you’re going to wind up having a pretty good time with Slice. I did, at least.
Watch the trailer for Slice here and then let us know, in the comments below, what you thought about the movie!
'Slice' review: A bunch of ridiculous Halloween fun7