How serious Slotherhouse is as a film is presented in the first few minutes where the viewer is in the Darien Gap, Panama and a sloth minding its own business to pulled into the river by a crocodile only to escape leaving the croc dead with terrible cuts across the belly. What stands out though is how bad the sloth puppet is. Its the sort of thing that 1970s UK ventriloquists used a la Nookie the Bear, Orville and the like.

Anyway the creature finds its way into a collection of illegally trafficked exotic animals. Its then adopted/stolen by Emily (Lisa Ambalavanar) who had met the trafficker early on at a mall, got acquainted and suggested the sloth as a campus mascot. However unknown to Emilly the sloth has slaughtered the trafficker. It also requires drugs to keep it calm.

Back at the campus Emily is going head on with Brianna (Sydney Craven) for President as well as welcoming in freshfaces to the sorority. Cue sub Heathers division, envy and nastiness. All rolled up with a Gen X environmental and social media obsessions.

So what we have here from director Matthew Goodhue and writers Bradley Fowler and Cady Lanigan is a preposterous story that could have been carried off if it had been funnier and/or gorier.

Unfortunately because it lacks both the viewer is more likely to take into account the bad puppetry and the sloth’s innate knowledge and use of computers, mobiles and driving rather put that to one side because they are laughing and screaming at the comedy horror.

That’s not to say it’s a complete disaster. There’s just about enough to keep the film going for its duration with a very good cast who are up for the absurdity of it all.

Slotherhouse will be available on digital platforms from 12 February 2024.