Director – Craig David Wallace
Cast – Katie McGrath, Brandon Jay McLaren, Steve Byers, Patrick Garrow, Christopher Jacot, Dean McDermott, Erin Karpluk, Rob Stewart, Jessica Sipos, Mayko Nguyen, Jefferson Brown, Alysa King, Enuka Okuma, Shawn Ahmed
Release Year – 2016
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Slasher is the first original show for the Chiller network. I enjoy the channel and was curious to see how they would do delving into a television series, and let’s just say there is some promise. Slasher gets some things right and unfortunately gets more things wrong. Fans of the slasher sub-genre will find some joy at first, but once you get to the midway point in the season the writing loses focus on the slashing and suffers from poor characters and a lack of emphasis on the horror. Ultimately, this season is a disappointment that I would not recommend with better efforts (i.e MTV’s Scream: The TV Series) out there.
Sarah Bennett and her husband Dylan made the decision to relocate to Sarah’s childhood home/town, where Dylan will serve as EIC for the local paper and she will work at opening her own art exhibit. Sounds like a dreamy move doesn’t it? There is only one problem here: Sarah is returning to the home where her parents her killed and she was forcefully removed from her mother’s womb by a religious killer. Decades have passed, and Sarah’s attempt at returning home to achieve the answers that have plagued her life turns disastrous when a series of religious murders begins. It is up to her, her journalist husband, and a local police officer to find the killer, but doing so will require figuring out his/her ties to Sarah’s past.
I was excited to see another slasher TV series following MTV’s second season of Scream: The TV Series, and after the initial episode I felt this show had some promise. It opens with some decent horror thanks to a heinous kill and gives us a glimpse at the killer, who’s look I am a fan of. I also enjoyed the idea of someone going back to their hometown and confronting their past. While the series maintains some fair kills with decent gore, the rest of the elements involved are terrible. This collapse doesn’t begin until just past the season’s halfway point, but I assume you’ll see it through to the end just to see who the killer is.
So what did I not like? The initially likable characters were poorly written, and the play between them was equally bad. This made literally no one likable (although some may be tolerable) so by the time the revelations are taking place I really didn’t care about who lived or died. There are also some scenes that are way too silly and unrealistic. I give some leeway to television as sometimes such scenes need to be added for dramatic effect, and Slasher surpasses that leeway. The killer uses the 7 Deadly Sins as a basis for the killings, and each deadly sin comes with its own Biblical punishment. Yes, you read that correctly. While there are 7 Deadly Sins, there are no specific punishments for each one. The writers simply made them all up, assuming you know nothing of world religions. Even if you don’t, it’s a stupid move that left me bewildered. Additionally, the mystery element is pretty tame. I was curious enough to see who the killer was, but I was never fully convinced it was this or that person, as a show with better writing would do to someone, which they then throw you for a loop with the grande revelation. Drama, adultery, and small-town politics will eventually force the horror into a backseat role which is why I said the series lost focus. Too much time is spent on such dealings and you’ll be left wondering when the show will get back on course. Ultimately, dissing the horror is the greatest of the deadly sins. This came as a surprise to me given the series is directed by Craig David Wallace – the creator/writer/director of the far superior 2010 show Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. I did not know of this until after viewing the series, so I can’t blame high expectations for my disappointment in this case.
So far I have not come across news of a second season in the works. It it were to follow a different series of killings I would be interested. if it follows Sarah Bennet I don’t think I’ll be giving it a watch.
Overall, Season 1 of Slasher is not a show I would recommend. It has its moments, but these moments are overshadowed by poor characters and the show losing sight of the horror.