Slice n’ dice
A few weeks ago I was browsing Netflix in an attempt to find something spooky to watch. Turns out, it’s an endeavor finding a good horror movie on the streaming program. Titles such as Scream, Stranger Things, Bates Motel, Zodiac and others kept appearing along with a bevy of cheap direct-to-video films. My cursor eventually settled on a series called Slasher so I hit play. Next thing I know, it’s 3 a.m. and I’m 4 episodes deep not wanting to go to sleep, I was hooked on a killing.
Slasher is set up as a horror anthology series, much like American Horror Story, with each season taking place in a different setting along with a self-contained story. The first season called The Executioner involves a woman, Sarah, and her husband moving to the town where she was born…and into the house where her parents were brutally murdered. To make matters worse a string of copycat murders begin the moment she moves in. But what really pulled me in were the characters and the mystery of the copycat killer. Every character introduced has some sort of secret that not only makes them a target for the Executioner but also potentially outs them as the Executioner. So many times did I make a guess on the killer’s identity only to be wronged as I watched that character die.
What I like and dislike about Slasher are the number of episodes in each season. Both cap off with 8 episodes and while it sounds good for those who want to blow through a season in a day or two, sometimes it felt like the show sped through plot lines before they were fully developed. The first season introduces a plot line early on before it’s dropped suddenly and randomly picked up again in the 5th episode in a way that could add more to the mystery of the show…but the way it is resolved by the end of the following episode throws any evidence of intrigue out the window with it. What was the point of it?
Season 2 which is called Guilty Party fares a little better in managing plot threads as well as juggling a larger cast of characters. While watching the premiere for Guilty Party I was reminded of the first half of the survival horror game, Until Dawn. Group of teenage camp counselors “accidentally” kill a friend of theirs and decide to keep it a secret from everyone else. They return 5 years later in the winter to finally dispose of the decayed counselor but the body is nowhere to be found and a killer is on the loose claiming to know what they did…last summer. What follows is a fight for survival against the killer and the harsh winter weather as friendships are put to the test. While the first season cut no corners in killing characters off, Guilty Party decides to take a slower approach which allows us to get inside the heads of the cast. We learn through flashbacks how the seemingly friendly camp counselors turned on one of their own and how much their lives have been affected in the years since. Some characters have moved on while others can’t face the reality of what they had done. There are no real heroes in the show and everyone, in some way, comes out as the villain.
It’s up in the air if Slasher will return for a third season but seeing how Netflix acquired the rights to a second season, chances are it will return at some point. I hope it does because much like Raw, I enjoy seeing somewhat realistic takes on the genre. No magic, no resurrection, nothing over-the-top, and certainly no mind control.
I don’t really go out of my way to recommend shows or movies but if you enjoy the slasher horror genre or the horror genre in general, check the show out.