During their holiday break from school, six friends plan out a camping trip for the weekend that guarantees a debaucherous good time. There plans are ruined though when a killer, who was believed to be dead for several years, returns with a chainsaw in hand and starts picking the friends off one by one as well as anyone else who ventures into his woods.
"Slasher" is Frank Montag's debut film and another movie in a long line of neo-gore (or in this case supposedly) films from Germany. Germany has been known for their splatter films for a long time now, and quite frankly they have the market cornered, but as of late Germany has been exploding with new films, from both new and familiar filmmakers.
I didn't know much about "Slasher" other than what pictures and trailer(s) are available, and it looked promising and the fact that it was German-based made me hopeful for a gore-fest. Much to my chagrin, "Slasher" takes more from Western 80's slasher-throwbacks than its splatter heritage. Now I say it's more along the lines of all these throwback films because it shares more in common with those than actual vintage slasher films. Especially since "Slasher" unnecessarily takes the time to be self aware and comment on how cliché slasher films are. As well as how the characters could very easily have their weekend trip turn into one of those typical movies.
"Slasher" is as basic and formulaic as you can get with a genre film, and that's not such a bad thing with slasher movies and that is initially what we are expecting with the movie given its title and premise, of course. The problem though is that it is so basic and formulaic that it forgets to bring anything new or interesting to the table, in this case I was expecting gore, but I would have accepted anything. It also is suffers from not being able to bring the viewer into the movie in anyway; no atmosphere, no suspense, no characters worth rooting for. Nothing. "Slasher" already has an incredible hurdle to get over being a filmmaker's debut movie and then to make it so basic that it’s dull; well then that just adds a few more feet to the hurdle.
The movie is able to get by with its story; again very simple and very formulaic, but it's as good as it needed to be. It throws a reasonable twist towards the end in an attempt to break up some of the monotony and for what it tries to do, it's respectable. As far as execution goes; it didn't work. Mainly due to "Slasher" having a really erratic pace through out the entire movie, it's constantly stopping and going. For some reason though by the end it just blows through everything at a break-neck speed, resulting in the movie's story playing out very sloppy and poorly. The death scenes are random and seem to come out of no where, and right after someone is killed the movie slows down for exposition, then its back to a kill scene, and then it’s off to someone walking through the woods. It's hard to get behind the movie because it never builds towards anything and because anything that goes on seemingly happens at random.
I know I'm making this movie sound awful, but it’s actually not. Well, let me put it this way; it's not unwatchable. The movie has quite a few problems, more than what a viewer can openly ignore. One of which is the acting of course but I'm not going to hold too much against the movie for that. The biggest problem "Slasher" has is how it played out. While it was bad, I couldn't figure out if it was the result of Frank's inexperience, the bad editing, or both. With that aside though, it is a watchable genre title. It is no worse than some of the b-slasher flicks from the 80's and it is able to deliver what most horror fans want out of their slasher movies: boobs, blood, and chainsaws. So there is an entertainment level to it but because of it being so dull, unoriginal, and the glaring technical issues, the level of entertainment is pretty low. I was also disappointed to find out that while the movie does shed some blood, for the most part the blood is kept to a conservative amount. Depending on where you stand as a gore fan it can be a good thing or a bad thing, but you are certainly led to believe you get more of the blood and guts than you actually do. Now I'm sure Frank will be able to turn out some solid horror titles in the future as he showed some promise in "Slasher" but the movie itself is destined to become lost and forgotten amongst all the other DTV horror flicks being released because it barely manages as a mediocre title.