AKA: Slasher: The Executioner
Katie McGrath as Sarah Bennett
Brandon Jay McLaren as Dylan Bennett
Christopher Jacot as Robin
Steve Byers as Sgt. Cam Henry
Dean McDermott as Chief Iain Vaughn
Slasher was the first own-produced series by the now defunct U.S. TV channel Chiller and centers around a young woman, Sarah, who is confronted with a series of horrifying copycat murders, that are based on the widely-known killings of her parents years ago.
I'm a huge fan of old school style slasher movies from the 70's and 80's and really feel that when they're done well then they can range from being really good up to classic movies. Even when not done well, they can be a good slice of cheesy fun as well. Obviously there are some downright awful ones out there but that can be said about any other movie genres too.
I was aware of the Scream television series, although I've not watched that one yet, and saw a lot of horror fans recommending this Canadian series so I figured I would give it a go.
One of the things that struck me the most was the beautiful cinematography by the team here. Even if they don't have the biggest of budget for this series, which can sometimes show in this season, it still looked absolutely stunning in places.
Story wise, it's not going to win any awards for originality as the whole idea of someone being haunted by copycat killings that mirror the killings of someone close to the main character has been done in many movies before. Some really well and others really badly. Here, the eight episode run does a good job of building up the foreboding and suspence through the eight episodes. That said, there were quite a few moments that bogged the episodes down and even repeated parts over and over.
I think the story struggled a lot to find enough material to warrant eight episodes. If it had have been kept to maybe six episodes and had some of the scenes trimmed or removed, I feel it would have flowed at a much better pace. To have the main character chased by the killer in nearly every single episode felt massively like overkill to such a point where after the first two times, when it happened again it made me groan in a "oh here we go again" type feeling instead of creating a feeling of dread or fear.
Another thing that annoyed me was the way they'd have the characters say a line of dialogue only to do a complete 360 seconds later. That was especially true in the final episode where the main character had a near complete personality change. I feel that the route they were going was to make the character have suffered so much that they then bring themselves down to the killers level in an effort to get revenge but it just felt so out of place, especially when they were shown a couple of days later in a "driving in to the sunset" type finale with next to no repercussions and all the mistrust between the two characters suddenly forgotten as it didn't serve a purpose for the story. Also, the reveal of the killer seemed to fall a little flat. Not only did they give a bit of a half arsed back story for the reasons for the murders but to also give so many "oh no it's definitely not that person" moments of dialogue made it very, very obvious who it was from the second episode onwards.
With all that said, it's not a bad or awful series at all. The acting was rather hit and miss, especially with the two main characters, ranging from being very good to being very wooden and almost bored while saying their dialogue. I wasn't expecting Oscar winning acting of course but there were some moments where I wanted to scream at the screen to tell the character to show some emotion.
The characters themselves are rather unlikeable but I believe that's the point from a story point of view because the murders were based around the sins that the characters have committed that make them unlikeable. My favourite character however was very likeable and sympathetic called Robin, the actor strangely turns back up in season two but as a completely different character.
Deaths wise, and let's be honest that's why we watch slasher movies and television shows, are quite inventive and in places, rather gory so that should satisfy even the most ardent of gore hounds amongst us.
All in all, the show was a little disappointing in places but still worth taking a look at if you like old school style slasher movies. If you can ignore some of the characters really stupid decisions, which I won't mention as they're spoilers, that might make you want to shout at the screen and are able to ignore some pretty big plot holes then it's worth checking out.