‘Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin’
Butchers is a 2020 Canadian horror feature film about a group of stranded friends who must fight to survive the attacks of brutal brothers in deep America.
Directed by Adrian Langley from a screenplay co-written with Daniel Weissenberger, the Unit XIX movie stars Simon Phillips, Michael Swatton, Julie Mainville and Anne-Carolyne Binette. It was produced by Adrian Langley, Doug Phillips and Kevin Preece.
A family of sadistic butchers has dug into the backcountry and, from the deep freeze of winter to the dog days of summer, anyone who crosses their path is dead meat…
” …a fun and wild ride that utilises homage and obvious love for the genre to craft something that feels entirely relevant in 2020. It looks super slick and contains plenty of exciting sequences. It also nods in agreement at the fact the film has been done many times before and uses it to its advantage and never to its hindrance, you get exactly what you pay for from the synopsis. A Wrong Turn clone that is very much with a watch.” Coles 84
“It’s one thing to be totally unoriginal, but it’s almost certainly worse to be unaware of that unoriginality. Langley’s movie is a gory trudge through horror tropes, entirely lacking in any sense of gleeful malevolence or gritty thrills. Damningly, it just sort of exists.” Flickering Myth
“Butchers has some interesting new ideas and pushes the genre into some exciting directions. It tries hard to rise above its genre cliches, but doesn’t quite succeed.” The Hollywood News
“Director Adrian Langley, who co-wrote with Daniel Weissenberger, throws in a few bits of eccentricity (one butcher coaching another through a Hamlet soliloquy) and frames some nice widescreen landscapes, but also defaults to how mean-spirited-can-you-get turns of plot. By now, more wearisome than shocking.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“Some will watch the film and be annoyed or disappointed by its lack of originality or emaciated plot. Some, though, will enjoy Butchers for what it is. It’s a grungy violent axe to the head in the guise of another homage to all those demented backwoods killer flicks that came before. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s enjoyable…” Nerdly
“In much the same way that our four hapless co-eds are caught from the start in a Sadean trap, there can also be no escape from the requirements of genre. Butchers carves its way through all its over-familiar routines because that is simply what needs doin’ in a film like this. Which is to say that while Langley’s feature is neither original nor particularly demanding viewing, it plays out its borrowed tropes with knowing, bloody efficiency.” Projected Figures
“It’s gloriously shot, highlighting the contrast of the lovely forest and the grimy shack the victims are kept and that aspect alone raises the quality above the standard well-trodden fare. It’s clear Langley knows we’re all aware of the tropes and isn’t shy about making that obvious, but if you’re going to tread a well-worn path, you might as well do it in style, which is just what he does. While it won’t win any awards for originality, it’s a fun watch…” Starburst
“There’s no interesting or really likable characters. There’s no memorable kills or gore and surprisingly, given the film’s rampant misogyny, there’s no nudity. All we get is an inferior cut of meat that doesn’t even have any spice to hide its blandness.” Voices from the Balcony
“It gets pretty savage though, and its tongue’s never too far from its cheek (except when it’s cut out and left on the chopping block to cure) so kinda fun in totally expected ways. It’s well-made and juicily mean-spirited enough that if you’ve got hankering for that Texas-style ranch sauce on top of your bloody human wings, this will fill a hole.” Wraith Ape
Butchers is distributed by Black Mandala.
To coincide with National Butcher’s Week, Butchers will be released on DVD in the UK on March 8th, following its earlier Digital release on February 22nd.
Cast and characters:
Simon Phillips … Owen Watson
Michael Swatton … Oswald Watson
Julie Mainville … Jenna Simpson
Anne-Carolyne Binette … Taylor Smythe
James Hicks … Mike Crenshaw
Nick Allan … Willard
Blake Canning … Steven Crane
Samantha De Benedet … Celeste
Frederik Storm … Christopher Powell
Jonathan Largy … Oxford
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1
MOVIES and MANIA rating: