Five years after a murder, a group of friends go back to where they buried another, to make sure the remains are never found.
Season 1, Episode 8: “Soon Your Own Eyes Will See”
Directed by Craig David Wallace
Written by Aaron Martin
* For a review of the previous episode, “In the Pride of His Face” – click here
The finale of Slasher‘s first season begins in a very Michael Myers-like way, as we follow the masked culprit up through a house, into the bedroom of two parents – Alan Henry (Rob Stewart) and his wife Suzanne . It’s little Cam Henry wearing a creepy pig mask. He’s sleepwalking, wetting the bed. While his father is more understanding, mom is a very angry, unhappy person whose shaming of her son is despicable. She berates him over and over, calling him a “baby“, until young Cam sends his mother flying down the stairs to her death. Whoa.Smash cut to adult Cam Henry (Steve Byers) hanging out with Sarah Bennett (Katie McGrath). They’re carving up a pumpkin, having fun like two old friends should. But Cam tries to lighten things up, speaking of hope, speaking to her as more than a friend. Alan shows up and things get awkward. She’s still obviously sceptical of Father Henry. Only for the wrong reasons. How much does the priest really know about his son nowadays?
At Sarah’s gallery there’s an influx of business, for Halloween and also surely due to her recent appearance in the news for all the madness in Waterbury. Robin Turner (Christopher Jacot) shows up to try convincing her to do a little partying for Halloween/her birthday. Maybe not the best idea, but who knows what is at this point.
Meanwhile, Cam and Alan have bit of father-son time. They talk of wives, mothers. Father Henry warns of rushing into anything “unseemly“, though, his boy brings up the nasty secrets nobody else knows about, which then gives way to an almost-fight. The deterioration of Cam is now evident even to his own father. So Alan goes looking, he searches and finds the box – the one with all those souvenirs of The Executioner’s killings. I wonder if Alan will do something, or if he’ll only cowardly look on in terror.Later on, Dylan (Brandon Jay McLaren) shows up at the gallery, too. She isn’t impressed immediately with his sudden change of heart, having given up his stake in the case, and so on. Not impressed at all. And neither is Cam, who watches on from across the street. He meets later with his father at the church. Alan is visibly distraught, he starts talking about Cam’s mother, then he casually starts to bring up the murders. “But you broke man‘s law, Cam,” he says. He offers to help his son. Only Cam’s not sure that’s the best option going forward. The Executioner in Cam comes out, as he then chokes his father to death in the middle of the church. A brutal, personal kill, which will only serve to knock Cam off balance even further now.
In the paper Dylan writes an editorial about losing his wife. He confesses for the sin of Pride. Uh oh. Might not be the best thing to do right now, tempting The Executioner. At the same time, Sarah hears Dylan out a little, and they start to mend their bridges. He actually seems sorry, and tries his best to make her see that. Perhaps some hope for them after all. That is, if Cam doesn’t do something terrifying first.
Sarah packs her life up to get the hell out of Waterbury. In a bag belonging to her husband, Sarah finds the little box with The Executioner’s souvenirs. A plant by Officer Henry.
So now her life is even worse. Plus, Cam starts to confess his feelings for Sarah. And then the worst: they make love against the wall. Afterwards, though, she doesn’t seem too happy about her decision.
At the station, The Executioner himself interrogates Dylan, whose situation gets worse by the second. Such dirty irony. I dig how the writing has given us this last episode to sort through things. Already there’s the realization of Cam being the killer, even prior to this episode with the revelation at the end of the previous episode. Watching everything unfold now in the finale is very fun. Everything becomes more tense when Sarah discovers some old memories, one including a picture of Cam holding up a picture of his GLUTTONY drawing. Yikes, that would be creepy even if he didn’t turn out to be a serial killer.
Now with a renewed mission Sarah is, typically, in the dark, looking for clues at Cam’s place. She finds a bloody sink, a large knife, as well as the remnants of Alan – a hand, his priest collar. Then instead of calling 911, Sarah sets off with the big buck knife in her own hand. Will she search out The Executioner and bring a taste of his own medicine along for the ride?
Simultaneously, Robin is throwing a big party for Halloween. He makes an emotional yet inspiring speech for everyone and gets the place pumping. When Sarah shows up she goes straight for Cam. She lures him outside with a suggestive look, some sweet eyes, et cetera, and that hooks him. She manages to stab Cam brutally, but Robin comes along and also gets knifed in the chest. This sets us on a nice slasher cat-and-mouse chase.
Down the Halloween-y streets goes Sarah, trying to stay ahead of Cam. She gets inside, tries to make a call. Except Cam is too fast. Upstairs, she makes it into a room. A big, strong Cam prepares to break down the door. Dylan comes out of nowhere to try saving the day.
But Cam overpowers Dylan, and before Sarah can make it to the door Cam grabs hold of her, planting the knife in her chest, almost right in the neck. As she bleeds, he scolds himself for ruining “everything” all the time, like a teenager. One of the creepiest scenes yet sees her bleeding out on the floor, Cam laying next to her recounting the first he saw her. So sickening, in the best sort of horror way. Managing to down him for a moment, Sarah locks the door and goes to kill Cam. Her husband tries talking her out of it, saying “You‘re not a murderer“, but she wants to be done with the legacy of The Executioner. So husband and wife set about killing him, wiping away his awful deeds. For all those sins of murder, Cam suffers through a vicious stabbing. One of the most savage stabbing scenes of any I’ve ever seen, honestly. Over and over she gives it to him. Also, a nice subverted end for a slasher to have these two do him in that way.We skip to a month later. Dylan, Sarah, and Robin stand outside the house, hoping to see someone else take the place eventually. Off to a new life head Dylan and Sarah, free of The Executioner, both the original and the copycat.
Showing off the house, Robin leads a new family around. Around the side their little girl goes to play with a cat nearby. She cracks its neck with a chilling, almost orgasmic joy. “This house feels perfect,” she tells Robin. Maybe Waterbury will be seeing another massacre, eight or ten years down the road. Awesome little finish.
I loved this series. It wasn’t always prefect, but it offered a lot. Both played into the slasher sub-genre, as well as subverted it at times. Above all, I kept guessing. Even at times where I believed I knew who The Executioner was, things kept happening to keep that ball rolling. Excited to see another season, hopefully Chiller will go ahead. It’s supposed to be a different story every year, so if that’s the case I’m hoping they’ll find an interesting way to do a Season 2.
Season 1, Episode 7: “In the Pride of His Face”
Directed by Craig David Wallace
Written by Aaron Martin
The penultimate episode of Slasher‘s first season begins in the aftermath of Captain Iain Vaughn (Dean McDermott) being burned alive in a crematorium.
Sarah Bennett (Katie McGrath) is visiting with Tom Winston (Patrick Garrow). She wants to know the full truth, now that they’re being honest with one another.
Flashback to 1988, Halloween night. A young Tom, as The Executioner, murders the pregnant wife and her husband. Whereas the pilot took us up until the door shut, this episode gives us what happened behind the door. Laura’s mother reveals the baby belongs to her and Tom. This stops him in his tracks. Momentarily.
In the present, Tom claims it was to “save” her from their parentage. But he won’t give up anything further.Robin (Christopher Jacot) comforts Sarah, as best he can. Meanwhile, at home Dylan (Brandon Jay McLaren) is trying to make amends, for being a “bad husband” and not paying her enough attention while lavishing in the bit of praise given to him for his coverage of the killings in Waterbury. Could he still be a suspect? You never know. She wants to leave, she wants him to stop covering the story. He doesn’t necessarily say that’ll happen, only: “I don‘t wanna lose you.”
A creepy sub-genre moment sees Cam Henry (Steve Byers) sneak in behind behind Officer Sharma (Shawn Ahmed), as they find a room filled with The Executioner’s Seven Deadly Sins drawings. The whole scene is creepy. They find all sorts of things, diaries, lists. Even one that says Sarah and Tom are in the crosshairs for the sin of Pride.
More than ever now Dylan is appearing suspicious. The way he talks with Sarah makes him seem strange. So late in the game, could he be a definite suspect now? It’s easy to be suspicious, though. The red herring game is strong in writer Aaron Martin, following along excellently with the slasher sub-genre trope. Even further than that Sarah catches Dylan in a bit of a lie, making him that much more suspicious. He’s followed The Executioner story since before they met. He did it all for a lead that eventually brought about their marriage. He lied about it all. Sketchy.
Still, Dylan’s out in front of the cameras. All the while, Cam is keeping Sarah safe. And Tom Winston’s being transported elsewhere. That is until he launches an escape, choking out Officer Sharma and then looming over the paramedic. Terrifying.
Lisa Ann Follows (Enuka Okuma) is dangling a book deal in front of Dylan. Could he be guilty of Pride himself? Could this all be a deflection?
Well Winston shows up to take Sarah. Not for anything nefarious, obviously. He wants to protect her, afraid that Cam and the police can’t do the job properly. This is an excellently written series of events because we’re placed in a strange position, at once hating Tom for being a vicious murderer, and at the same time rooting for him because he’s, oddly enough, a caring father at the bottom of it all. The father in him comes out now that we know for sure, and it’s sickly a sweet situation in ways. Again, that’s the sort of paradox writer Martin puts us in; to hate and admire the original Executioner.
Sarah and Tom have a cute little chat about her past, her grandmother, camping, and so on. She again asks why Tom killed her mother and her husband. Then out of nowhere, Tom starts seizing. He manages to smash her phone, but urges her to run – The Executioner could trace the call, if he’s tricky tricky tricky. The police, they catch her phone. Cam and Dylan are both concerned. Even Father Alan Henry (Rob Stewart) offers to help.
Is it coincidence that right after the priest heads out to search The Executioner captures Tom and Sarah?
We find out after that Sarah is guilty of “playing God” when she attempted suicide. That’s why The Executioner has slated her for death. Tom begs for the life of his daughter. But the killer is not interested in that.
Back to 1988. A young Tom Winston preaches in a church. Laura’s mother Rachel shows up and joins the congregation. Tom’s actually talking about Alan Henry, the sins of Waterbury. Cut to him in bed with Rachel. He’s wracked with guilt, and he’s in love with her. The whole situation is tough, especially once things with the married couple devolve. We’re getting a better perspective on why Tom felt so betrayed by everything; he had no idea about being filmed. Such a heavy revelation. I’d not expected this whole angle particularly. The couple blackmailed Tom into leaving their burgeoning enterprise alone. This is what drove him to madness. To murder.
So this is the story of Tom Winston’s Pride.
The Executioner plans to kill Sarah, but instead Tom gives himself up for her. “I love you, Sarah,” he says before going willing into the arms of the killer. He lays down upon the saw, broken on the wheel, and it tears him apart. What a bloody, violent death for Tom! Wow. Very impressed with the horror elements in this episode. Quite vicious.
“It is our duty, our burden, to take action against sin wherever we may find it.”
Sarah’s escaped the grip of The Executioner. Her life keeps getting stranger and stranger, more complex, and not in any sort of good way. Then a mannequin of The Executioner pops up int the middle of town, including a note for Sarah specifically. The plot only thickens.
At home, Father Henry is a little too chipper. Another red herring? Or perhaps his talk of the town being “cleansed” is more than just talk?
There are certainly secrets in the Henry household. In a closet, Cam has a box of mementos. He adds a new one – a piece of bloody shirt, one an awful lot like that which Tom wore. Is this really it? Is Cam truly The Executioner? WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! I had my suspicions, but still. This changes the game.Stay with me, fellow fans. I love this series. I don’t care what anyone else says, despite the flaws and all. Lots of fun. Next episode, the finale, is titled “Soon Your Own Eyes Will See” and we will get our answers.
Season 1, Episode 6: “The One Who Sows His Own Flesh”
Directed by Craig David Wallace
Written by Aaron Martin
* For a review of the previous episode, “Ill-Gotten Gains” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “In the Pride of His Face” – click here
After the twisting turning episode previous with the revelation of Captain Ian Vaughn (Dean McDermott) having Ariel Peterson (Hannah Endicott-Douglas) in locked room in his basement, this next episode opens five years previous.
He picks her up from the side of the road. She gets in thankfully. Obviously the biggest mistake she could’ve made. Vaughn used his power and position of authority in Waterbury, the trust of that, to get her inside the car. And things start to get really scary after that. I mean really scary. Vaughn morphs into this completely different person right there in the car with her. I knew there was something off about him, but never expected this at all.
In the present day, he lays in bed with her. She’s obviously got not life, stuck in that room. The whole thing is beyond disturbing. But she may be working out a way to escape, somehow, some way.While Vaughn’s got his own thing going on, Sarah Bennett (Katie McGrath) borderline accuses her husband Dylan (Brandon Jay McLaren). We can’t really count him out yet, though. Can we? Well Sarah is busy talking with Cam Henry (Steve Byers). They’re sussing out all the mysteries of the Peterson case, or as much as they can, anyways.
For now, we’re privy to more of Vaughn and Ariel. Their entire situation is insanity, of his making. She wants out, as well as out for her little boy. He’ll have no part of it. Soon enough she pulls her blade on Vaughn and stages a hopeful escape. Putting him down with a can to the back of his head she and her boy run. Only the doors are locked, naturally. A setup such as that means Vaughn has got all his bases covered, especially considering he’s a police Captain. His wife witnesses the escape, and does nothing. One shocking, heavy moment.
Sarah goes to see Tom Winston (Patrick Garrow), mostly to tell him he’s not her father. Although, he is adamant – “You‘re my daughter.” Meanwhile, Dylan’s out meeting with Lisa Ann Follows (Enuka Okuma). She wants to reel him in. He’s got his own bigger ideas.An interesting part of this show now heading into its last few episodes is the unraveling persona of Captain Vaughn. He sends Cam home off duty, which will only likely prompt more of Sarah’s little investigation. But Vaughn goes to see the prostitute Marjorie who Cam and Sarah were talking to earlier. Seems Margie’s eager to keep secrets for the ole Captain. For his part, Iain gives his lady friend a present. A nice ride on some electric veins. A real hot shot. Continually now, we witness more of the becoming of Vaughn. His hand is now being forced further and further. Despite his terrifying nature, he’s not even The Executioner, is he? So does that mean The Executioner will be coming for him some day soon?
In jail, Winston finds himself fighting a tall, brick shithouse of a man. He does all right. Until possibly getting his head stomped on.
One creepy scene sees Vaughn pull up to Sarah on the street, much the same as he did with Ariel five years before. Such an eerie moment; he even makes her get in the backseat. He’s got his back against the wall a little, too. There’s an edge to their conversation. Would he even dare to try abducting Sarah? Is he that mentally unstable at this point? She definitely pushes her luck in that respect, having a free flowing conversation with Iain. And then, like those years ago when he picked up Ariel, things get creepy.
“You‘re an idiot for getting in this car“
They have a little discussion, on the Seven Deadly Sins, Sarah’s intentions moving back to Waterbury. Vaughn claims she’s guilty of Pride. Their whole ride together is so tense. The writing is great, even the acting – I love McGrath in this series, not necessarily a huge fan of McDermott, in anything, but here they’re excellent together.
When he takes her out to some dump, she ends up slipping into the woods. Now Vaughn’s whole act is really undone. He’s let a victim get away. This can’t mean anything good for his little family at home.
At the Vaughn household, Cam arrives, Sarah in tow. Things are definitely starting to break down now. An entire facade is washing away. When Iain’s wife leads them to his “man cave” they discover Ariel and her boy. Heather (Erin Karpluk) reunites with her daughter, and that’s one shining bit of brightness in it all.
Winston wakes up in the hospital ward, and Sarah’s by his side. They’re entering a new phase of their relationship: “No more lies.” She flat out asks why he killed her parents, a bold step.
But what about Iain?
He’s off readying a boat, headed elsewhere. Instead of purging himself with fire.
That’s because someone else is poised to do that for him. Unable to escape the watchful eye of The Executioner, the now fugitive Captain Vaughn is trapped inside a coffin, stuck in the crematorium for his sins of Lust. He burns alive in the oven, screaming for help, as a morgue attendant sits outside eating his lunch. Yikes.
More Executioner next week. This was an intense episode, maybe one of my favourites yet. Looking forward to the penultimate Season 1 episode “In the Pride of His Face” next week. This series has gotten a lot better after several episodes, really hit its stride. I hope the finish will be packed with amazing and wild revelations.
Season 1, Episode 5: “Ill-Gotten Gains”
Directed by Craig David Wallace
Written by Aaron Martin
* For a review of the previous episode, “As Water is Corrupted Unless It Moves” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “The One Who Sows His Own Flesh” – click here
After June Henry (Jessica Sipos) was taken by The Executioner in the finale of last episode, left in a large open field, her naked body covered in honey, this episode of Chiller’s Slasher continues with two women in that very field discovering June’s body.
This is one of the grisliest murders yet. Amazing practical makeup effects that draw a heavy visceral reaction.
When Sarah Bennett (Katie McGrath) and husband Dylan (Brandon Jay McLaren) arrive at the Henry home to give support. Creepily, Father Alan Henry (Rob Stewart) appears jovial, almost happy. Then Captain Iain Vaughn (Dean McDermott) arrives to give Cam Henry (Steve Byers) the bad news – they’ve found June’s body.
At the morgue, Cam breaks down a little, yelling at his father. Clearly his grief is overwhelming, whose wouldn’t be at a time like that?
Meanwhile, Dylan’s on television with his boss Alison Sutherland (Mayko Nguyen) being interviewed by Lisa Ann Follows (Enuka Okuma). It seems as if Dylan is a bit too into it, while his boss isn’t enjoying things at all.
Simultaneously, Father Henry’s back giving supposed religious council to Tom Winston (Patrick Garrow). Their relationship is very, very curious with every passing episode. Then there’s Sarah and Robin (Christopher Jacot) speculating on the possibility of Alan Henry being involved with The Executioner murders. They know Cam’s place, where Alan stays, has been tossed by police, but they wonder about his other house – the church. So they go poking around, naturally, in true slasher horror sub-genre fashion. What come across are a hammer, nails, a “murder kit“, and likely one meant to be used for crucifixion.
Over at the newspaper office, Alison isn’t pleased with Dylan, as she finds his showboating a little much. But, even if it’s sleazy, he is just doing his job, being what’s he supposed to for the role. And Alison, she’s busy hacking into June Henry’s text messages.
Sarah does her best to comfort old pal Cam. Only, she doesn’t comfort much. She has questions about the relationship between Alan and Tom, revealing her thoughts about the latter orchestrating The Executioner murders from prison. She tells Cam about finding the apparent murder kit at the church. The two good friends fall apart, calling each other suspects, going back and forth with accusations – even Cam throwing Dylan’s name in the ring – and really burning their friendship to the ground. Either way, Sarah’s adamant Alan’s hiding something, to which Cam replies: “Dylan is too. I‘d bet my life on it.
Father Alan arrives at the gallery. He tells a little parable of a woman going to confession, ill-spoken words, feathers, and all sorts of things. Essentially, it parallels with what Sarah’s been talking of, suggesting things to Cam about his father. A chilling, ominous bit of dialogue between Sarah and Alan reveals he may know more, about the past and the present, than he’s revealed so far.
Big break in the newspaper. Texts from June to Trent, vice versa. Alison claims they were “e–mailed” to them, but we know the truth. Follows is sniffing around for more stories, more publicity, more, more, more. Then the divide goes further between Alison and Dylan, as Lisa wants more focus on one of them. And the topic is sex, so naturally Follows wants him on; she’s obviously into him. Sarah isn’t pleased at all with Dylan and his paper either. Yet there he goes, on television again. Alison turns the tables and tries speaking directly to The Executioner live, which of course pisses of Dylan and Lisa, for different reasons.
Then, in the dark of the evening, Alison walks to her car and hears her name whispered quietly from somewhere nearby, a letter under one of her wipers: an invitation to meet with The Executioner. Uh oh.
Captain Vaughn and Sarah come up against one another. He’s pretty insulting towards her, even while she’s only trying to dig out the truth. But she’ll get things figured out, one way or another. Craft one, that Sarah.
At the foundry, Alison prepares a very official-like setup for her one-on-one with The Executioner. Is she expecting too much? Well, things get underway. The Executioner gives up information that only he would be able to know, in order to satisfy Alison’s curiousity whether it’s actually him (or her). They proceed to have a little chat, about all things Seven Deadly Sins. The killer asks if she has anything “weighing” on her, straining the ole conscience. And she walks away unscathed. For now.
At the office again, the competition between Dylan and Alison now rages, with Ms. Follows hoping to “build a special” around the footage Alison got of her clandestine interview. Lisa’s suddenly much more interested in the bosslady. Because she only cares about ratings, and who can get ’em.
“We all sin. Every day of our lives, we sin.”
Hoping to circumvent Cpt. Vaughn, off goes Sarah to the Mayor’s office – Ronald Edwards (Booth Savage). She blackmails him to get the tapes found in her parents house after the original murders, even calling him “grandpa” re: the affair he’d had with her grandmother. Amazing little scene, and shows how tenacious Sarah is when it comes to digging for the truth.
We get more about Alison now as a character. Turns out, she precipitated the suicide of Benny Peterson (Michael Vincent Dagostino), husband to Heather (Erin Karpluk), by doing some e-mail hacking, throwing suspicion on Benny for possibly having something to do with their daughter’s disappearance. Wow. Even more, Dylan lurks around the bar where Alison meets Lisa, and there’s even MORE trouble afoot than before. So many layers.
Robin and Sarah continue sleuthing. They follow Father Alan. He meets with a woman, clearly a dominatrix, and she crucifies him to a wooden cross, as he shouts: “Father forgive me!” Holy shit. Alan’s developed a sadomasochistic interest.
In other news, Alison is headed off in a limo. One driven by The Executioner, as it turns out. Back to the foundry once more. No interview this time. Seems she has something weighing on her conscience after all, like we saw in her meeting with Lisa. Bye, bye, Alison.Finally getting her hands on the tapes of her parents, Sarah sits through some their homemade porno, forcing herself, trying to discover something, anything.
Then she sees Tom in a video with her mother.
In a restaurant, a couple hipsters sit chatting. One of them bites into an onion ring; an onion ring that turns out to be an ear. The police later discover her deep fried head in one of the boiling vats. Dylan’s already snooping around, which doesn’t please Cpt. Vaughn. It’s clear there is more to Dylan than we know. I want more of his backstory to come out, and it will soon. I’d like more on Vaughn, too. He isn’t the typical police character, he isn’t dumb.
But quickly, in the finale we get more of Vaughn. He has a locked room in his house. Inside, he keeps Ariel Peterson (Hannah Endicott-Douglas). And a boy, too. His son, apparently. What a whopper of a finale! Very Josef Fritzl-ish. Wow. Can’t wait for more. Vaughn is obviously not at all who he structures himself to be in the outside world. There are far more secrets to Slasher yet to be discovered.The next episode is titled “The One Who Sows His Own Flesh” and I’m excited. The revelation in this episode was intense, and there were a few amazing scenes that make things even murkier than before. Who is The Executioner? Who are all the citizens of Waterbury, really? Let’s find out together.
Season 1, Episode 4: “As Water is Corrupted Unless It Moves”
Directed by Craig David Wallace
Written by Aaron Martin
* For a review of the previous episode, “Life as Fire Eateth and Burneth Wood” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Ill-Gotten Gains” – click here
After the revelations of the last episode, Slasher moves forward with all our new knowledge of the past: what Brenda did as a young woman, how that has begun to affect her granddaughter Sarah Bennett (Katie McGrath).
Dylan (Brandon Jay McLaren) tries to comfort his wife in the aftermath. But there’s nothing much to do other than grieve. Then Cam Henry (Steve Byers) shows up with information about Trent McBride (Jefferson Brown).
We cut quick to Trent in the woods. And now he’s in the cross-hairs, as he tries to do a bit of hunting. Someone, likely The Executioner, fires off rounds and has Trent running through the woods. Until he topples into a covered trap. Then the Executioner has a bigger surprise – in go a load of snakes and it becomes a nasty pit where Trent finds death.
Henry and the police are searching for poor Mr. McBride. Eventually, they come across the pit and discover his grisly death. With each subsequent murder, The Executioner’s methods get nastier. We’re clued in on more of the Seven Deadly Sins. This supposed murder takes the form of the punishment for Sloth. Yet Trent appears, by all accounts, quite active and certainly not lazy. The plot thickens.
So without having to resolve their previous problems due to Brenda’s murder, Dylan now gets Sarah to do an interview for him. She goes on record about everything. Great bit of editing in this sequence, as we watch the deaths of Justin and Brenda over again while Sarah narrates. Even further, Tom Winston (Patrick Garrow) reads her interview in the paper where she gives the label “coward” to anyone who has ever taken the life of another. This prompts Winston to go a bit off the handle. What sort of repercussions will rear their head due to this? She’ll no longer have his bit of confidence, no more of his unofficial detective work.
Tom calls from jail to talk. He still has advice, no matter how angry or rejected. She asks if he might talk with Dylan for the paper some time. He requests a lock of her hair in return for doing so.
“I know you think he can‘t hurt you, but the last thing you wanna do is make that a challenge for him.”
The discussion of possible suspects goes on, in typical slasher fashion. Robin Turner (Christopher Jacot) casts doubt on everyone, from Captain Iain Vaughn (Dean McDermott) to Cam, even Dylan. But the possibilities keep on running. Robin also suggests Tom could be the “brains” of a copycat murderer on the outside. The whole thing goes further to suggest that it’s possible Alan Henry (Rob Stewart), Tom’s religious council, could be a part of it all. Certainly he was spared on the night of the original murders, as well as the fact he’s “religious council” for Mr. Winston. Hmm.
Vaughn is checking into the background of Trent McBride. June Henry (Jessica Sipos) is questioned, apparently she has/had a connection with the deceased at one point or another. They were paramedics together. It’s obvious his death hits her hard, both in the way she acts while being questioned, and how she seems after, while alone.
We see her later the bar, hammered drunk. She runs into Sarah and Robin, who try to keep her from driving home. June ends up in the water, skinny dipping, so Sarah tries calling Cam. Meanwhile, Dylan is at dinner with her boss Alison Sutherland (Mayko Nguyen) as they meet with former criminal justice lawyer and current journalist Lisa-Ann Follows (Enuka Okuma). For Follows, it’s all fame and glamour, not so much a throbbing need to help some people in a small town. Sarah’s got her own troubles, though, as drunk June rails against her “slut of a mom” and makes it clear there are still lingering prejudices about Sarah and her family. Might be some trouble with Dylan, too. He seems starstruck, and willing to go a little too deep for his job in conjunction with his personal life.
The next day June apologises to Sarah, as well as reveals she and Trent did have an intimate relationship. Moreover, June tells us a story about Trent encountering a now missing girl – Ariel Peterson. They go to the police with all this, honourable. It causes a lot of mess, though.
At the same time, Dylan goes to see Winston looking for “valuable insight” – a.k.a pieces of fame. Then Dylan gives over the hair he stole out of Sarah’s brush. Nasty. Turns out that Tom received a ton of mail from Dylan before. “How much does Sarah know about you?” asks Winston. The slasher plots are ever intricate, as many characters become prime suspect territory.
Father Henry meets with Tom once again. “Sometimes I forget you‘re a Christian,” says Alan. They talk of God, as Tom reads from the good book. More and more their conversations are captured in a sinister light. Then Tom hands over the hair he received; ah, so there is some kind of plan for it. He’s asking Alan to do something. What that is, we’ll see soon enough.Out in the street, Heather Peterson (Erin Karpluk) rants and raves for everyone to see. Truly going mental. It certainly doesn’t help her case that she babbles about the Bible. Surprisingly enough, June Henry embraces Heather, as she weeps in the road.
Sarah further discovers more truths later. She finds out June was in fact with Trent the night they saw Ariel. Which firmly puts her in the way of The Executioner’s new murders. This does nothing to help Cam and his state of mind. Are they too late? Has June already been taken for the sin of Sloth?
Everyone goes looking for her. When Vaughn June down, she’s stabbed, hung from a wall. Or at least a mannequin is, anyways. June is actually at church, on her knees. Praying. The perfect place to be found. By The Executioner, that is.
June soon finds herself in an impressively devious situation. She’s placed out in a field, naked, full of honey, and nearby are rats, other little creatures. An I.V. runs into her, likely keeping her stationary. Will she get chewed to pieces? I’d bet on it.
Next episode is titled “Ill-Gotten Gains”, so the fallout from this one ought to be massive. More Seven Deadly Sins await. I’m loving this Chiller series. It’s gotten better and is picking up steam at the halfway point. Stay tuned with me, fellow fans and horror lovers!
Season 1, Episode 3: “Like as fire eateth and burneth wood”
Directed by Craig David Wallace
Written by Aaron Martin
* For a review of the previous episode, “Digging Your Grave With Your Teeth” – click here
* For a review of the following episode, “As Water is Corrupted Unless It Moves” – click here
Moving on into the first Chiller series Slasher, this new episode promises revelation, and more mystery.
This chapter commences on Prom Night, 1968. Some hilarious dialogue concerning music starts us off. On a bridge ahead of a car filled with teenagers, a woman stands by herself; just as in the previous episode’s finale. There’s talk of a girl who doesn’t know “when to close her legs” and one of the teenagers, Ada, seems guilty over being out on prom. Then the girl on the bridge drops the cinder block. It smashes Ava’s face, as the others weep, screaming in terror.
Cut to Brenda Merrit (Wendy Crewson) next to an older Ada, hooked up to machines: “I‘d switch spots with you in a second, Ada.” Plenty more layers to Slasher and its band of characters.Meanwhile, Sarah Bennett (Katie McGrath) worries about her own involvement in the killings, that since she returned to her hometown these murders have started. Husband Dylan (Brandon Jay McLaren) tries hard to reassure her that’s nonsense. At least Sgt. Cam Henry (Steve Byers) is cautious enough to place a police guard outside their house for the time being. The police claims Heather Peterson (Erin Karpluk) killed both Verna McBride and Justin Faysal. Apparently a vendetta against them. Though the media questions things slightly, only Sarah wonders if this isn’t the case.
Over with Ada, we see Brenda bitchily greeted by mutual friend Sonja Edwards (Victoria Snow). They argue over loyalty to their best friend. Sonja claims Brenda’s only look “absolution“, to which the latter replies: “Too bad that hunk of cement didn‘t fall a little more to the left,” as she storms out.
At the gallery, Sarah receives a customer that seems to know her. He’s an eerie fellow. When he spies a portrait of The Executioner she’s been doing things get tense. However, he buys six paintings and this only makes her paranoid, of herself.
Robin Turner (Christopher Jacot) isn’t having a good day. After Justin’s death, there is a bit of trouble on the money end. Trent McBride (Jefferson Brown) has a huge cheque, in the millions, which bounced, and it was written by Justin. The woes begin now, as if they hadn’t already.
So grandma Brenda meets Sonja’s husband in a bar then ends up in just about banging him. Then she says fuck that, lays into him with a couple excellent insults, and leaves him literally with his pants around his ankles.
Worse trouble than blue balls are happening, though. The cop outside Sarah’s is taken by the killer, dragged from his squad car. Not killed, but unconscious. Inside, she gets calls with no one on the other end; over and over. A terrifyingly creepy voice calls her “brave, stupid Sarah” once she threatens to get the officer outside. As if the voice knows. This sets up a very Scream-like encounter, which I dig. There’s more than just this Wes Craven reference. We get a Halloween moment, sort of, inside the closet, as well. Out of nowhere the voice of Cam. It calls to mind Craven again, almost like Billy Loomis. There’s a brief shot of Cam that suggests he has some residual feelings, something going on for Sarah. And could he possibly be the killer? Is that too obvious, considering his father Alan (Rob Stewart) is a priest, Seven Deadly Sins and all? Something to think on.
Both Sarah and Robin bond over their mutual vulnerability in the killings. Even more, Robin reveals what happened on the land where Justin built their home. A family was driven out of their small “shack” and ended up squatting in an apartment somewhere, which led to their deaths after a propane heating malfunction.Sarah’s ready to take off, as is grandma Brenda. But Dylan agrees to stay on with the newspaper. He chooses his career over her, lying that she could sue, that he needs to give two weeks notice. This is not a good thing for them, not very smart on his part. Career or no career, a serial killer is loose and driving his wife out of Waterbury. Worse than anything, Brenda tries to put doubt in Sarah’s head over her husband, suggesting Cam loves her and they’d be a good bet.
Someone puts grandma and granddaughter off the road. But Brenda retaliates wit a piece hidden in her purse. What a bad ass Brenda is, I love that they’ve given this character so much time. No matter her flaws. She’s allowed to be a real, raw character, and it’s not the typical older woman we see in such stories. Brenda also reveals things about Ada, what happened to her. It has to do with Ronnie, from the bar, and how they’d fallen in love. It was Brenda on the bridge that night, the one who tossed the cinder block. Needless to say, Sarah is not impressed with her grandmother, and wishes she’d turn herself in.
Poor Robin. Things get worse for him after Justin’s death, getting stuck with almost $3-million in debt. At the same time, there is a ton of properties for him to sell and make maybe enough money to clear that. Still, as if a husband dying isn’t bad enough, the hit just keep on coming. More than anything Robin wants to know if his husband did anything “underhanded” concerning that old plot of land, belonging to the now dead family. But apparently it was “just business“, as he solemnly phrases it.
Eventually, Sarah and Brenda find themselves separated. And grandma’s found by the killer. She wakes near the water in a boat house. Her ankle bound to a cinder block. Oh, the karmic brutality of slasher horror. The new Executioner arrives, and we’re just waiting to see if Brenda can somehow survive his nasty vengeance. For her part, Brenda taunts him, with the Bible no less: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. You skip over that section?” Then he tosses it in, beginning her slow descent to the bottom of the lake. Her eyes are the only thing left above water, as she drowns to death.
Sarah soon finds her grandma, dead, bobbing slightly out of the water. She’s more and more becoming a Sydney Prescott-type figure, losing everyone around her. Then there’s Cam who consoles her, as his wife June (Jessica Sipos), a paramedic, stands by watching. So many smalltown relationships that expand upon a situation such as Craven had going in Scream. I like how even the Prescott family past has an influence of Aaron Martin’s writing here. Again, not at all robbing Craven of anything. Mostly it is influential through indirect homage, helping to shape this series’ DNA.In a shack with plenty of dead animals, Robin finds Trent. More slasher sub-genre tropes, the creepy hillbilly sort who seems good enough to pin as the killer. But this is merely another red herring, throwing us off along the way. And giving Robin a bit more trouble to deal with throughout his already sad tragedy.
Then there’s Heather Peterson. She gets released by Captain Vaughn (Dean McDermott) and Sgt. Henry, giving off some creepy vibes. There is plenty more to Heather, too. I’m looking forward to more of her character and backstory coming out. There has to be something else to her, other than being “batshit crazy“, as Vaughn describes her.
With the revelations of Brenda, granddaughter Sarah goes to see Sonja. She tells her about what her grandmother said about Ada. She further reveals details of Sonja’s husband being intimate with Brenda, that he could possibly be her “grandfather” – which Sonja vehemently denies. At the same time, Sarah says she’s headed to the police with what her grandmother has said.
Finally, we’re back to Sarah seeing Tom Winston (Patrick Garrow). She wants him to help “catch this bastard” and as usual, oddly, Winston seems to want to help in return. Sarah tells him about the events her grandmother had a part in. He quotes back some Bible and also adds: “Once we let go of our secrets their power over us disappears.” So at least Brenda died clear of conscience, I guess. His concern for Sarah is terribly strange. Why does he care so much? Could he be somehow further connected to her, in some twisty way? He wants to do what he can, always, and doesn’t want to see her hurt, certainly not dead. Why is that? He talks about the Seven Deadly Sins as a sort of opposite of a rainbow, one that forms “darkness“, but that The Executioner is “lost in zealotry.” We cut to Trent in his shack again, as if suggesting him as a suspect. I doubt it’s him, seeing as how Verna was his blood. But who knows? We’ll see. Soon.
Next episode is titled “As Water is Corrupted Unless It Moves” and I loved this one, so I’m looking forward to more intrigue and revelations of the dark, dirty past in Waterbury.