A family of sadistic butchers lives deep inside the backcountry. From the dead of winter to the dog days of summer, anyone who crosses their path is dead meat.
- Owen Watson: Simon Phillips
- Oswald Watson: Michael Swatton
- Jenna Simpson: Julie Mainville
- Taylor Smythe: Anne-Carolyne Binette
- Mike Crenshaw: James Hicks
- Writer: Adrian Langley
- Producer: Kevin Preece
- Writer: Daniel Weissenberger
- Producer: Doug Phillips
- Wuchak: _**Realistic hillbilly horror**_
Two young couples break down in the sticks of the Northeast where they encounter some questionable shack-dwelling yokels (Simon Phillips, Michael Swatton, etc.) who have a pregnant captive (Samantha De Benedet).
“Butchers” (2020) is a wilderness slasher that creates a feeling of mundane, solemn realism similar to the tone of “Wolf Creek” (2005) whereas “Wrong Turn” (2003) became increasingly cartoonish. Remember the sequence in the latter where the protagonists try to evade the hillbillies by walking way up in the tree branches? Why Sure! “Wrong Turn 2: Dead End” (2007) is even more comic booky, campy and thoroughly unbelievable. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both entertaining for what they are and have loads of gore, but they don’t really create a sense of horror. “Butchers” does, very much so.
It recalls the realistic backwoods horror of “The Shuttered Room” (1967) and “Deliverance” (1972), just from a slasher angle and with a lower budget, which you wouldn’t know from the proficient filmmaking.
Other than De Benedet (Celeste), Julie Mainville (Jenna) and Anne-Carolyne Binette (Taylor) appear on the feminine front and are more prominent.
So why not a higher rating? It’s probably too mundane & grim for its own good and therefore is NOT a fun film, like the Friday the 13th flicks, which ironically is the basis of my praise above. Plus they coulda done more with the women, particularly Anne-Carolyne Binette.
The movie runs 1 hour, 32 minutes, and was shot in the Eastern Ontario townships of Merrickville-Wolford and Elizabethtown-Kitley, as well as Cumberland Heritage Village, which are in the Ottawa area and to the south toward the St. Lawrence River.