I know I promised to do a review of Deathgasm, which is outstanding by the way, but after I realized a new horror series was added to Netflix I changed my mind. If you have no idea what this is and don’t have Netflix, check out this trailer:
Pretty awesome, right? The opening sequence is even better. It’s like it was lifted from American Horror Story, and it seems like a great substitute to tie any horror fan over until September. Then…you actually sit down and watch it, and all of your hopes and dreams are quickly crushed. But, I’ll get more into that later. If it wasn’t made clear from the trailer, the plot is a woman named Sarah decides to move back into the house where her parents were brutally murdered by The Executioner. We’re not talking your normal murder here. Her dad almost gets split in half, and Sarah was actually cut out of her mother’s womb while her mother was still alive. That being said, why in the hell would you want to move back into that house? Most people would guess closure, a fresh start, or maybe the fact that the town is small enough that it would be perfect to raise a family. Your guess is as good as mine, because no explanation is offered in any of the 8 episodes. And we’ve only scratched the surface.
We have our (highly questionable) plot set up, what about our cast of characters? All of them suck. I’m not kidding. By episode 2, you wish a horrible death on every single person, including the one that’s supposed to be our heroine. This entire show is a victim of terrible writing. The first episode is incredibly misleading. You think you’re getting your standard slasher show, where a character will be killed every episode right up until the last one (think Harper’s Island). We do get a pretty gnarly murder every episode (swan dive unto a saw is my personal favorite), but then we get these convoluted, soap opera-like plot twists that created more questions instead of answering them.
For example, the town’s police chief is the biggest jerk for no reason at all. Halfway through the season, we discover he’s an alcoholic, a murderer, a kidnapper, and a rapist all within a span of 10 minutes. The sweet editor of the town newspaper is actually a fame-hungry harpy than framed an innocent man of molestation and murder, which leads to him committing suicide. Sarah’s husband only married her because she was the best lead to learn more about the original Executioner murders. But none of this beats Sarah, the woman we’re supposed to be rooting for. Where do I start? Believing her husband is the copycat killer, then minutes later screwing her high school sweetheart? No, that’s not the worst offense. No…it’s the fact that her constant nagging and snooping leads to several of the murders. If she had just left town, or had not “uncovered sins”, several people would still be alive. Am I the only one that sees something severely wrong with that?
This gets 2/5. About 30 minutes into the first episode, you give up hope and just stick with it because of the Saw trap-like deaths. The acting is decent for what it is, but you can see that even the actors were quite uncomfortable with how their characters developed. I understand that they were going for the whole “even the quietest town can hold the biggest secrets” thing, but it didn’t work. Instead of letting plot twists unfold at a natural pace, they bludgeon you with each ridiculous addition. But I have to mention the ending. Out of freaking nowhere, this cute, blonde little girl who can’t be older than 10 breaks a cat’s neck, and gives the camera this creepy grin.
What does this imply? My best guess is that the writers just couldn’t leave it alone, and threw this in to give the impression that “it’s not over”. How the hell would you do a season 2 for this? They freaking killed everyone! Of course, that hasn’t stopped the writers. If you’re a gorehound like me, the deaths definitely pay off. However, if you want a decently paced story along with gore, look elsewhere. Let’s hope Slasher gets a new writing team for season 2.