SLASHER: The Executioner -- A Review Cutting Friendly Canadian Stereotypes to Ribbons

Writing a Bloody Mess by Bridger Cunningham

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Daring to find a new Netflix series which can conjure up scares more frightening than a Friday ratings report?  The United States' neighbor to the north managed to perfect s sleeper hit known to few, as it made a quiet debut on Canada's Premium Cable Super Channel and America's cable outlet Chiller.  Broken apart into an 8-episode season, Slasher crafted a clever murder mystery hinging on the seven deadly sins.  Set against a picturesque fictitious Canadian town of Waterbury, the idealistic setting holds a beautiful backdrop thinly guising the vile nature and actions the townsfolk have been hiding for decades.  Slasher is not produced to draw upon the Award-worthy nature of American counterparts Stranger Things, Twin Peaks or American Horror Story.  But rather, it delivers decent dialog against a well-constructed mystery and delivers a standalone product worthy of investing in if viewers yearn for frightful thrills and piquing their curiosity and theories as to the killer's identity and motive for unleashing mayhem.

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McGrath, McLaren
Slasher manages to debut with a shocking, gruesome murder of two seemingly innocent people on Halloween 1988.  Out of this town's blemish, the daughter of one of the murdered principles returns as an adult to inhabit the infamous house where the murders took place.  Immediately, she is the beacon of speculation for sensationalist reporters, curious, friendly townsfolk and even a hateful neighbor who breaks the stereotype that all Canadians are jovial.  The heroine, Sarah and her husband Dylan (Katie McGrath, Brandon Jay McLaren) interact with local police officer Cam Henry (Steve Byers), his chief Iain Vaughn (Tori Spelling's spouse, Dean McDermott), local realtor Robin Turner (Christopher Jacot), his spouse Justin (Mark Ghanime), and Dylan's newspaper publisher Allison Sutherland (Mayko Nguyen).

Of course, not all in this town are friendly toward the Bennetts as grudging neighbor Verna McBride (politician/actress Mary Walsh) is too eager to pepper the young couple with insults and awkward exchanges. The characters meeting their grisly demises at the hands of the masked copycat Executioner are guilty of the seven deadly sins over the first 7 episodes -- Wrath, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth, Greed, Lust and Pride.  For those eager to locate clues lying in plain sight, pay attention to the chillingly appropriate title sequence.  The 2016 run manages to hook viewers with the first casualty being campy and humorous balanced with the right doses of shock and horror, hooking viewers to see who will meet their cleverly crafted and savage demise.  Throughout the 8-episode run, characters' vile misdeeds are explored, leading the audience to realize to the very end why they were chosen to meet grisly end.

Image result for slasher wendy crewsonIncarcerated Executioner Tom Winston (Patrick Garrow) plays the aiding villain as he aids Sarah in her quest to figure out why her friends, loved ones and neighbors are being picked off, and how this ties into her sudden return to the infamous town scarred by her birth.  The cast delivers on par, though the only demerit was the severe underuse of international star Wendy Crewson as Sarah's "grandmother."  At first glance, viewers appear to have to suspend disbelief that she plays the grandmother of a woman in her late 20's until further explanation is given why Sarah has a GILF.  That oversight aside, Slasher delivers on-par and has two seasons readily available for the globe via Netflix.  Dare to frighten yourself bemused and give Slasher a whirl if you crave a decent mystery.

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