Tagged Steve Byers

Immortals a.k.a Greek Mythology on Steak and Eggs

Immortals. 2011. Directed by Tarsem Singh. Screenplay by Charley & Vlas Parlapanides.
Starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Joseph Morgan, Anne Day-Jones, Greg Bryk, Alan Van Sprang, Peter Stebbings, Daniel Sharman, Isabel Lucas, Kellan Lutz, & Steve Byers. Relativity Media/Virgin Produced/Mark Canton Productions.
Rated 18A. 110 minutes.
Action/Drama/Fantasy

★★★★
POSTER
Tarsem Singh is an interesting director. He has music video sensibilities, which is where he really got his start doing videos for such artists as En Vogue and more important R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and it helps because his films have their own sort of flow. He doesn’t direct like everybody else. And while not all his films are that special, some of his work is undeniably impressive, visually exciting, and with a flair all his own. The Cell grabbed me when when it first came out, around the time I was about 15. It is such a unique and brutal serial killer film, and one of the three movies I can actually stand, as well as enjoy, Jennifer Lopez’s acting skills. The Fall is a beautiful film, a trippy piece of cinema. Then comes Immortals.
This is one hugely underrated action-fantasy mash-up. Whereas stuff like Clash of the Titans never really hits its mark, Immortals has so much to offer. Again, the visual style Singh employs makes this into, as he describes it himself, an action movie steeped in the look of Renaissance paintings. In addition, people like Mickey Rourke, a pre-Superman Henry Cavill, Luke Evans, even a bit of John Hurt, helps the acting rise above standard and stale melodrama you might amongst other similar offerings.
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.00.51 PM
This screenplay is interesting because the writers chose to change pieces where they found themselves able. For instance, Zeus and Poseidon (Luke Evans/Kellan Lutz) are young men instead of the standardized old men we’re used to seeing. They apparently attributed this to the fact, and it is fact, that the Greeks themselves would often adapt certain aspects of the stories re: their Gods to in turn adapt with modern issues and times. So it’s only fitting some things get rearranged. Most of all, despite the stylized look of Immortals I’m glad that they chose to write this not as a modernized, contemporary adaptation. Due to that we’re treated to some amazing locations, many wonderfully designed sets which take you away from merely some desert, to the desert of another plane, a place where Tartarus and other mythical locations exist. Something I admire about Singh is how it’s very clear even as a director he takes great interest in set design, as well as design of the overall production. I’m convinced that’s a sign of a director’s grasp, as lesser directors likely leave that task completely to a production designer without having a hand in it. The style of Singh’s films is singular across them all. Like The Cell with its ability to take us inside the deranged and rotting mind of a serial killer, here Singh transforms the world in front of the lens into a lost place of Greek myth. He and production designer Tom Foden (who has worked with him before several times and other solid films like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and Mark Romanek’s chiller One Hour Photo) really take us away to another realm. These types of films concerning Greek mythology could easily be set simply in regular deserts and other similar landscapes. Instead we’re pulled right into the books and poems which describe Heaven, Tartarus, an Earth where Gods still came and left their mark.
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.17.11 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.32.16 PM
As opposed to 300 with its CGI, Cavill’s physique as the lead, Theseus, is commendable work. He insisted on achieving his chiseled look naturally instead of having it all drawn on in post-production. The entire story behind it is mad, as financing troubles ended up having him effectively build up his body a few times before the money finally went through. Regardless, he also does some proper acting. So that’s really a double threat when it comes to action-oriented actors, which he’s turning out more and more to be; he can act, he can look the part and kick some ass. He does well with the choreographed fight sequences, which show off his athleticism, and in part his theatricality. It’s no wonder he’s gone on to even bigger things, as he has the gait and attitude of a Hollywood leading man.
Further than that, Rourke provides the essential villain that is Hyperion. In actual mythology, Hyperion is a little obscure, and though the film’s plot/story are linked quite a bit to the Titanomachy he also barely appears there at all anyways. So the writers have really come up with using Hyperion as a tabula rasa, where the Titan rebellion is sort of thrown on his shoulders, as he searches out the Epirus Bow to release them and find revenge on the Gods. Rourke is unsettling, even just Hyperion and his men are scary, scarring their faces and smashing the genitals of their recruits, going into battle like complete and utter savages. The ruggedness of Rourke makes for an imposing character in Hyperion, plus he looks absolutely mental with the big helmet on, such a perfect costume design that makes him look like some kind of jackal, or something of the like.
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.35.26 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.48.17 PM
Added to these two lead roles, Evans is great as a young Zeus. He is a serious looking dude to begin with, and here he gives that youthful God a stern, calculating gaze, and fierce intensity that makes him formidable. Playing the oracle Phaedra is Freida Pinto; she is a nice choice, even if her role isn’t as massive as the men. But her feminine power as the oracle, a respected and revered role, is clear by the way she performs and how she makes the character feel. Also, really have to mention Robert Maillet – he plays the Minotaur, who in this version is just a massive, beastly man with a helmet and horns made from barbed wire-like steel wrapped around his head; terrifying. Maillet used to perform in the WWE, before it was WWE, as the wrestler Kurrgan. He does well here with a horrifying character. Honestly, that part actually freaks me out, and I’m a horror veteran. Great to see him here, using his physicality no less.
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.59.54 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 11.09.17 PM
Lots of action, plenty excitement, a nice ass kicking showdown between Hyperion and Theseus. What more could you want? There are a couple pieces of CGI that I wasn’t big on, as well as some dialogue in parts (Stephen Dorff’s character wasn’t overly well written or at all developed; his acting doesn’t help much either). But overall, Immortals is a 4-star fantasy flick with heavy action, even some nice moments of bloody madness. Cavill, Rourke, and Evans too, they drive the cast, making this more than action fodder with a Greek mythology twist. Straying slightly from the myths and carving their own path, Tarsem Singh and Co. make a fine effort out of this one. Not enough people give this the credit it deserves, which is a shame. Let’s hope after a few missteps Singh does more fantastical work like this and The Cell down the road.

Slasher – Season 1, Episode 8: “Soon Your Own Eyes Will See”

Chiller’s Slasher
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
Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 2.22.50 PMThe 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.Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 2.23.19 PMSmash 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.Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.03.22 PMLater 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 mans 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 “Youre 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.Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.19.56 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.36.16 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.36.31 PMWe 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.
Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.38.32 PMShowing 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.
Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 6.39.49 PMI 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.

 

Slasher – Season 1, Episode 5: “Ill-Gotten Gains”

Chiller’s Slasher
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
Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.12.28 AMAfter 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. Id bet my life on it.
Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.26.19 AMFather 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 “emailed” 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.Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.37.04 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.41.17 AM

We all sin. Every day of our lives, we sin.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.42.33 AMHoping 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.Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.50.52 AMFinally 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.Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.54.49 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.56.49 AMThe 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slasher – Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

Chiller’s Slasher
Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot
Directed by Craig David Wallace
Written by Aaron Martin

* For a review of the following episode, “Digging Your Grave With Your Teeth” – click here
Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 4.00.55 PMThe pilot for Chiller’s first series Slasher starts on Halloween in 1988, giving us a setup for the events to come. A husband and pregnant wife discuss Halloween plans, whether he’ll stay home with her instead of going to a party with his friend Alan. She tells him to take the scarf off his cowboy outfit, it’s too “Liberace“-looking. Then at the door arrives an ominously masked man who’s let in without question, assumed to be a friend obviously. But afterwards his friend Alan shows up. This immediately causes worry: “Whos that?” asks Alan. The murder begins, which gets pretty vicious before the killer slams the front door to the world. Police find a man with makeup around his eyes sitting there, holding a crying baby. Wow.
I’ve got to say, despite anything that might come later, this opening is appropriately savage for a series calling itself Slasher. We’re given a pretty neat little scene to start things off.Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 4.02.08 PMSarah Bennett (Katie McGrath) and her husband Dylan Bennett (Brandon Jay McLaren) move back to where she was born, in the town of Waterbury. They actually move right into her parents old house. So we know where this is headed. It’s got a great premise for the slasher sub-genre of horror. The cinematography is fairly solid, too.
Sarah and Dylan do their best to settle in. Meanwhile, we’re introduced to Sergeant Cam Henry (Steve Byers). He’s an old friend of Sarah, so we have one of those almost staples of the slasher sub-genre – both the old friend and the young lawman in the hometown. Then she expresses to Cam wanting to meet with Tom Winston – the man that murdered her family. Yikes. Also, there’s the married couple Robin and Justin (Christopher Jacot/Mark Ghanimé), they’re her landlords. Fun characters. Although, I worry for them; maybe everyone around her is about to find themselves in danger.
Verna McBride (Mary Walsh) calls Sarah’s mother a “dirty slut“, right to her face. There’s obviously some kind of bad, bad blood between Verna and Sarah’s family. What could it be?
All these hometown secrets, the small town mindset, will surely come into play as the plot move on in this series. Sarah wants to start digging into the murder of her parents, and being a good husband Dylan goes along to get along. Helps a bit that Dylan is editor-in-chief for the newspaper in Waterbury. But when they watch a clip of Winston, his rage coming out on camera, it affects her deeply.
When Sarah sees someone following her, they wear a mask like the one worn during the murder of her parents. This begins a typical slasher chase scene, out in the dark, the shadowy streets at night almost swallowing her whole. Luckily, Dylan arrives and they end up coming across a group of young guys, which puts him at odds with them. Not a great start for them in the neighbourhood.
But one of the guys doesn’t leave. He ends up coming across the killer. Who does some serious damage to the kid. Already we see this slasher’s brutality. Must be someone else copycatting right? Or are we so sure?
Well Sarah goes to see Winston after all. He’s almost excited to see her, but she tells him: “You need to stop smiling.” She gives him a good earful about her life, what he did to her through killing his parents. But before she ends up walking out on him, as he can’t keep taunting, Winston says: “You have to immerse yourself in the past, Sarah; all of it. Find out what was going on in your parents lives 30 years ago, find what was buried in that house. No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar so that those that enter may see the light.” This spurs her on slightly, as it would. Even if this man’s a killer, his demeanour is too calm and too rational to completely ignore everything he’s saying.

 

 

 

 

 


Turns out there’s a reason why Verna hated Sarah’s mother – she made some pornographic movies with Peter, the husband of Verna. Definitely has a Scream-esque vibe. Although, it’s not copying. Just sort of a wink and nod to the Maureen Prescott plot of those films. Love how there are direct and indirect homages to the sub-genre’s most prevalent titles. This will surely continue as a recurring presence.
Verna’s over in the Bennett place snooping around. At the same time, Sarah shows a picture from the porn she found to Cam, who confirms it’s Peter McBride. Mystery swirls around the deaths of Sarah’s parents, yet Cam believes some things are “better left undisturbed.” Does Cam know more than he says?
Sadly for Verna, she is quite disturbed once finding the porn playing on the television at Sarah’s house; further than that, she removes the tape. Uh oh. There’s no telling what this could do to a woman like Verna, alone in that big house, lots of time to go crazy while drinking wine and obsessing over the newly discovered evidence. At the door someone rings, but when she answers no one’s there. More of the usual slasher elements. Leading to Verna’s encounter with the killer. And it is gruesome.

 

 

 


After seeing shadows in the window, Sarah makes the mistake of leaving her house, door open, and heading over to Verna’s place. Is writer Aaron Martin purposefully letting Sarah do this? If so, I’d say excellent use of typical slasher movie moments. If not, another long line of dumb slasher movie mistakes. Either way, it puts Sarah in the house where Verna was just being butchered. And she finds Verna before a brief encounter with the masked killer. A fall down the stairs renders her unconscious, left by the killer to survive along with the Peter McBride porn tape laid on her chest.
She wakes up in the hospital where Dylan and a police officer wait. Sarah tells the officer it was “the Executioner“, not Winston but “someone dressed like him“, which makes both men sceptical. Lots of interesting confusion is about to begin. Cam ends up hearing about the Executioner rumour from a woman on the street, and it definitely worries him in some way. What’s he keeping under wraps? There’s something.
Poor Dylan is slightly conflicted, being EIC at the newspaper. He does what’s possible to keep her out of the headlines and the aims of his journalists. Only so much he can do, though. He’s also personally interested; he ought to be, perhaps he needs to be wary of what’s coming next. And there’s more to Cam, too. His father is a local priest, he even promises to catch the killer, as if there’s more than simply duty. Is there more behind Cam, possibly his father? Excited to find out more.
This pilot sets up a good deal of suspense and tension. Lots to work off with Verna’s death, as well.Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 4.44.51 PMSarah tries to get more out of Winston after the murder of Verna, to see if he has some stake in it, if he’s egged on a copycat. He’s willing to help her, though, has nothing to do with it. “McBride died for a reason; why?” he asks. There’s an almost Hannibal Lecter-Clarice Starling vibe happening in this episode finale. Even some Se7en-ish stuff leaning towards the Bible as a reference for these new murders. Again, not copying. The homage is an interesting part of what makes Slasher work. It isn’t metafictional, but rather it comes to us through allusion to all this other material. It’s fun, and this series is fun.Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 4.51.59 PMNot a perfect episode. That doesn’t matter. I’m still excited to see what will happen and grow out of all that’s been setup here in the pilot. Stay tuned with me for a recap and review of the next episode, “Digging Your Grave With Your Teeth” – soon to follow!