Most slasher films have the constant problem that a majority of the characters picked out by the killer aren’t fully formed. If they’re lucky, they get one scene to show their humanity with the hopes that you’ll feel some sort of sympathy before they become part of the body count. There’s only so much that can be done in 90 minutes when you’ve got a killer on the loose. That’s why it was a relief to see Slasher. Over the course of eight episodes, the story can truly develop so characters beyond the “hello/goodbye” figure formula. You feel more of a loss when the knife comes out instead of just caring about the inventive nature of the special effects guys. Slasher: Season One allows the thrill ride to gain a sense of depth without feeling drawn out.
Even though this was a TV series, the opening is cinematic quality as we’re flashbacked to the Halloween of 1988. Bryan and Rachel Ingram are getting ready for their adult trick or treat fun while taking care of the neighborhood kids. She’s pregnant and he’s eager for their big plans to start. He answers the door to a masked man who he thinks is a pal. However this is exposed around the same time the masked man pulls out his massive knife and slays everyone in the house except one. When the cops arrive, they find the killer holding a living baby. He had cut the newborn out of the mother’s womb. This bloodbath and reveal would have worked as the start of an R-rated movie. Decades later, the baby has grown up and is ready to learn about her hometown. Sarah (Jurassic World‘s Katie McGrath) and her husband Dylan ( Power Rangers S.P.D.‘s Brandon Jay McLaren) return to her family’s home which might seem shocking, but it’s bargain real estate. He gets a reporter gig at the local newspaper and she’s starting up a gallery downtown to bring a little art to the Canadian town. She just wants to fit in. Sadly the neighbors want to revive the tale of how her parents celebrated their last Halloween. Making things worse is that one of the neighbors has decided to dress up like the killer and keep up the murders. She’s not just showing up as the new girl in town.
The episodic nature does allow us to get a great sense of the town that’s full of suspects. Sarah quickly learns the relationship between her folks and the next door neighbors with a mysterious VHS tape. Seems like all the prominent citizens have a dark secret that makes them either a suspect or a potential victim. Dylan brings in the drama of working at a small newspaper with money issues and a desire to exploit the killers to beef up sales. This is Peyton Place with a guy running around the town with a huge knife eliminating the characters.
Not to give away the ending, but the action does wrap up in episode 8. This isn’t a cliffhanger series although it has a hint that the evil isn’t all gone like any good horror and slasher movie. You can sit back and binge watch all 8 episodes without wondering when the new season will start and give you real answers. The episodes on the Blu-ray are supposedly a little more graphic than what ran on Chiller. If you want a stabbing good time that will last longer than two hours, Slasher: Season One is perfect.
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks good with the night scenes looking fine with the killer creeping in the shadows. The audio is DTS-MA HD 5.1 and stereo. They do a fine job of mixing in the bumps in the night. The hacking noises will cause easily scared people to grind their teeth. The movie is subtitled.
Behind the Scenes (14 minutes) shows off cast, crew and Canada.
Scream Factory presents Slasher: Season One. Directed by: Craig David Wallace. Created by: Aaron Martin. Starring: Katie McGrath, Brandon Jay McLaren, Steve Byers. Boxset Contents: 8 Episodes on 2 Blu-ray Discs. Rated: Unrated. Released: July 12, 2016.
Tags: Scream Factory, slasher