TV horror has slowly found its creepy home in the anthology genre. Just like the structure of a scary movie, these spooky tales follow characters right from their introduction to the climax when they conquer evil. It’s a concise plot that features a beginning, middle, and an end within a single season. Rarely do they continue off into a sequel season (they do happen sometimes), but these stories are meant as a one-and-done.
Horror has spread to this format in series such as FX’s American Horror Story, MTV’s SCREAM, Hulu’s Castle Rock, and SyFy’s Channel Zero. It’s no secret that I love horror – give me anything spooky from movies to video games. That’s why this edition of “For Your Consideration” will review a horror anthology series that delivers both the fun and fright: SLASHER.
SLASHER is structured exactly like its eponymous horror movie genre. Usually, a large group of people is involved in a mystery where a masked individual is picking off people one at a time. The protagonists must work together to identify the murderer and outlast the bloodshed before the serial killer butchers them next.
The first season, SLASHER: The Executioner, focused on Final Girl Sarah Bennett, an artist who returned to her quiet hometown of Waterbury, Canada as a new batch of murders were being caused by a serial killer, “The Executioner.” Sarah’s parents were murdered by a similar serial killer years prior, and her arrival seemingly triggered this new copycat killer. The Executioner targeted members of the town, including Sarah and her husband Dylan, to complete their ritualistic and religious murders.
The second season, SLASHER: Guilty Party, focused on the revenge murders of guests at a former summer camp. After hearing news of the campsite being sold for development, five former camp counselors return to the (now) commune to remove the body of another camp counselor they had murdered and buried. The killer, a mysterious person in a parka, plots to murder the five returning counselors, and the guests of the commune, who aren’t exactly as innocent and oblivious as they seem. SLASHER: Guilty Party pivots back-and-forth between the past (summer) and present (winter) to add new layers and elements to the mystery.
Why You Should Watch
First and foremost, SLASHER embraces its horror vibe. The series doesn’t hold back with any of its tropes, gore, or murders. Being a “slasher movie” is its main objective. Whereas other TV series tone down their scary elements, SLASHER brings those additions to the forefront. We’re supposed to get scared and be pulled into the point of view of these characters. The elements that are included heighten the qualities you’d come to expect when watching a horror flick: uneasy tension, paranoia, fear, and a creepy sense of goosebumps tingling up your spine. SLASHER succeeds in delivering a pure horror experience.
The stories themselves are well-executed and developed. This isn’t another tale of an unknown curse going after teens or a killer hunting down a sorority house. Although Scream Queens will always be a favorite and it was canceled too soon (R.I.P. Scream Queens!). SLASHER creates a complex web of characters and interconnected plots that tie to the original mystery at hand. If the show offers even the most insignificant of details regarding a character, chances are it will play a part later on. SLASHER: The Executioner did this well when it introduced elements that foreshadowed potential victims. By the time the hero(es) reach the final chapter of their journey, you come out feeling accomplished deducing the murderer.
The characters themselves also add to the appeal. Whereas most horror movies introduce people to be quick victims, SLASHER takes its time to give characters a bit of depth before you end up liking or hating them. I pleasantly liked that the number of people categorized as “fodder” was kept to a minimum and, usually, they simply pushed the plot along or triggered the beginning of the bloodshed.
SLASHER isn’t for the faint of heart and you will clearly have favorites when it comes to the content of the story. Since both stories are separate, you don’t need to watch one to connect to the other. If you’re into small-town mysteries about ritualistic murders, start with SLASHER: The Executioner. But, if you’re into revenge plots that bounce between the past and present in a winter setting, go with SLASHER: Guilty Party.
Still, I’d recommend watching both seasons because each story is a lot of fun! Plus, a third season of SLASHER is on the way, and a little binge-watching session will get you excited for the new killer on the block.
SLASHER is available to stream now on Netflix.