Directors: Aaron Martin (Episode One), Ian Carpenter (Episode Two)
Writers: Adam McDonald
Cast: David Cronenberg, Paula Brancati, Jefferson Brown, Alex Ozerov, Patrice Goodman, Sabrina Grdevich, Breton Lalama, Corteon Moore, Nataliya Rodina, Christopher Jacot, Rachael Crawford, Jeanne Goossen, Sydney Meyer
‘Thicker Than Water’ & ‘The Sins of the Father’ Air Date: 12/08/2021
Slasher: Flesh & Blood is currently available to stream on Shudder.
The best thing about an anthology series is that you can start watching it from wherever season you please, which is precisely what I’ve done with Slasher: Flesh & Blood, the fourth season in the show run. The show has had a troubled past, I’ve watched that unfold in the background as it switched providers and showrunners, but we’re here on Shudder now. A streaming platform devoted to horror, so does the show deliver the gore? Yes indeed.
The two-part season kicker is full of surprises, drama and some of the worst people you’ll happily watch be murdered in a bloody fashion. Which is the oddest thing about Slasher: Flesh & Blood — I really don’t care who lives or dies at this point. In fact, I’m rooting for the killer. I’m begging for my long list of evil characters to eat dirt terribly in each episode so far.
A wealthy family gathers on their secluded island to mourn a long-lost member; a young child kidnapped off the beach years ago. What they didn’t prepare for was to fight for the family fortune. David Cronenberg, the horror legend himself, plays the head of the Galloway family. A cruel and sadistic man, he always enjoys forcing his family into the competition, especially when it comes to money. Each family member is either terrible in an obvious way or seemingly hiding a dark secret. Several don’t even want to be on this island attending whatever this family affair may turn into by the time night falls. But the family drama is soon the least of their problems as a masked killer is on the loose, and there’s no escaping the island.
This season of Slasher starts with “Thicker Than Water,” an episode title that cements the family theme. There’s an odd pace initially as each member of the family is introduced. As mentioned, liking the family members made it hard for me to get into the episode. However, once everything is in place and we’ve had enough time to get an idea of each family member’s personality, the game is on, and it’s not long until we have our first gory and fascinating kill. As the episode comes to a close, the final twist will have you eager for the next episode and dying to see how the games will carry on… And fortunately, you can jump straight into episode two, “The Sins of the Father,” as it’s a two-part premiere.
Both episodes in the season opener have some ridiculously cheesy dialogue, and the editing sometimes feels like a mid-afternoon melodrama. But there’s also a kill that made me wince more than the last Saw movie in the second episode. Nothing I haven’t seen before, but there was enough flesh and blood to make it feel like this season had earned its title, and I always appreciate some-old fashioned practical effects done well over a CGI-fest.