Sarah Bennett (Katie McGrath) was born on Halloween, the night her parents were murdered. Cut from her mother’s womb by the killer himself. Years later, Sarah returns to take ownership of the family home. But it isn’t long until she finds herself at the centre of a small-town nightmare, as a copycat killer is punishing the townsfolk for their sins: the seven deadly sins.
Somehow unrecognisable from her stint in mega blockbuster Jurassic World (2015), Katie has the features of a certain type of modern-day final girl. One that I’m glad is finally inching away from that Megan Fox look. She’s a tough one and very likeable to boot. Christopher Jacot, Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005), plays Sarah’s new GBF, Robin Turner and provides most of the much needed comic relief amongst all the grim goings on in Waterbury. Meanwhile, Steve Byers as Officer Cam Henry, the designated series hunk as all he seems to be good for is looking tall and pretty. He is Sarah’s go-to guy, even though they are both married… Patrick Garrow as Tom Winston, the imprisoned original killer is a less theatrical incarnation of Joe Carroll – The Following (2013).
When the series opens it carries with it the suburban claustrophobia of Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) along with the sub-genre rejuvenation of Craven’s Scream (1996). However, Slasher gradually loses this atmosphere as the killer takes things to a wider scale. For as the murders progress, the series makes use of a few tried and tested locations such as abandoned factories, empty fishing docks and wide open straw fields. Not to mention the classic dark alleyways and deserted streets.
Slasher’s first downfall is that it’s a painfully obvious whodunit, so if you’re a mystery nut, your case is as good as cracked, I’m afraid. Its second is that it feels a little stretched. A typical slasher movie is 79 to 84 minutes, but here that movie is spread out over eight 45 to 50 minute episodes. Does it work? Just about.
Understandably Slasher kicks things off with a bloody, gore-soaked bang to get us all hooked. But somewhere along the way the blood-letting becomes merely a trickle until eventually not even a drop is spilled. Fear not, as there is plenty of stomach-churning sadism in its place. It tries to keep things interesting by taking a page from A&E’s Psycho (1960) adaption, Bates Motel (2013), in which anyone can have a dark and twisted secret, no matter how bizarre or implausible. All in all, it’s entertaining enough, even if the seven deadly sins gimmick makes it highly predictable. But at least its maturity bests that of FOX’s Scream Queens (2015) or MTV’s Scream (2015) in both character and execution.