Blood, Guts, And A Lot Of Heart

Listen, if we’re still comparing “Slasher” to “American Horror Story,” the latter has some obvious advantages which have vaulted it above the former in the public’s estimation. Its budgets are far larger, FX always gives it a far more illustrious publicity rollout, it packs star power that “Slasher” can’t ever compare to (even if they did get David Cronenberg on “Flesh & Blood”), and after ten years, the show has accrued an enormous amount of cultural cache.

But the humble Canadian series that started on Chiller, before migrating to Netflix, which has now found a stable home in Shudder, has one thing that no season of “American Horror Story” ever had: simplicity of conceit. When you start a season of “Slasher,” you’re introduced to all the characters that are going to get picked off one by one in the first episode. You’re also introduced to the titular slasher, who will more or less remain the primary antagonist throughout. Martin and Carpenter aren’t interested in taking viewers to other dimensions, introducing multiple, competing foes, or burning through every single character in a juvenile fit of bloodlust so that an entirely new cast has to be introduced halfway through (looking at you, “AHS: Roanoke”). They’re simply interested in good old-fashioned bloody fun.

Even though the sets are decidedly constructed, the dialogue is sometimes questionable (“How on Earth could you possibly know that,” Dr. Israel asks Rijkers about a strange knot found on a crime scene, to which he responds, “I’m curious about detective work everywhere”), and some of the performers are limited, the fact that every single thread is on track to tie neatly together (at least from the vantage point of episode 5) makes the show supremely enjoyable. And it has so much heart, you can’t help but buy in.

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