The first half of Slasher: Flesh and Blood was incredible. The Shudder show tells the story of the Galloway family and their patriarch, played by David Cronenberg. After his death, a deadly game decides the heir to his massive fortune and power. Through those first four episodes, there were plenty of kills, family drama, and more. That all continues with the second half of the season. It ratchets up as the second half goes on, culminating in two of the most brutal kills in the whole show in the final two episodes. The winner of the game might not surprise you in the end, but the identity of the masked “Gentleman” will. There’ll be no spoilers ahead for any of those plot points or who dies though. So you’ll have to check out the action on Shudder.
As for the show, it ties up the narrative and gives horror fans one of the brightest examples of storytelling in horror over the course of a series. If you’re a skeptic about whether or not a slasher movie could work as an eight episode series, this is your bright shining beacon. The finale isn’t without it’s warts, but those don’t impede the overall product too much.
In a whole series that’s excellently acted, a couple of the performances stand out above the others. In this second half of the season, those great performances are cemented.
Sabrina Grdevich Is Devilishly Good Alongside The Rest Of The Cast
Everyone on this show ends up being messed-up and evil at some point. It’s part of the charm and the allure of the whole thing. One character that seems to delight in the evil is Florence, played by Sabrina Grdevich. In the first half of the season, she’s shown to be mean, and does have a bad side, but that gets take to a whole different level in the second half. She’s full of malice, deception, and she doesn’t play by the rules. The performance here, among the rest of the evil/wicked people, stands out.
David Cronenberg’s performance as the cutthroat and abusive Spencer also deserves mention. He’s featured in flashbacks and short videos throughout this section of the series. His flashback sequences are a true highlight of the performance because they show just how this puzzle of how messed up the Galloway family has gotten.
Sydney Meyer, Alex Ozerov, and A.J. Simmons form the crux of what the second half of the season is based on though. Their dynamic between one another and the twin dynamic between Ozerov and Simmons helps guide the viewer through some serious family drama.
Finally, Nayaliya Rodina‘s turn as Aphra could have been hammy and distracting; but her arc through the series is one of the best character developments out of the whole cast. She gets a wild and crazy section of the show that culminates in one of the most brutal kills of the entire series.
The cast here makes the show. It’s as simple as that. They take material that would be bungled by other lesser performers and bring it up to a great level.
Some Pacing Issues, Especially In The Final Episode
I get it, finishing up a show like this, with so many stories intertwined is difficult. Endings are always the hardest part. It’s just that the pacing of the final act of the series is a little bit off. Things are rushed, others are forgotten or swept under the rug. The biggest triumph though, is that the ending and reveal of the killer work really well. It makes sense why the killer is who they are. The final person to “win” the whole game is also the correct person.
You get plenty of revelations and mysteries about the Galloway family as it goes on. Various family misdeeds, murders, dark secrets, and more. Even the whole reason how they’re wealthy is from nefarious means. The whole think reeks of evil. It makes for a satisfying conclusion to the show that does leave you on a couple questions. Each person on the show has a dark backstory and a secret they’re trying to hide. Spencer brought them together on purpose so that their secrets would come out. It’s a lot like Knives Out but with way more gruesome murders and secrets.
The series ends on a solid note and even gives us a bit of mania from the “winner”.
Just Goes To Show How A Slasher Translates To The Streaming World
This was an incredibly fun show that gave us a slasher movie, over the course of an entire season of television. Watching the various kills, mysteries unfold, and more was a true treat. If you’re in the mood for a good mystery and bit of family drama, Slasher: Flesh and Blood is for you. The second half of the season fits perfectly with the first and makes for an entire story worth watching. Through the brilliant cast, excellent writing by the entire creative team, and steady directing by Adam MacDonald, this one earns a special place in horror’s television pantheon.
If more seasons of Slasher are like this, Shudder has a huge hit on their hands.
You can watch every episode of Slasher: Flesh and Blood on Shudder and the final two episodes premiere Thursday, September 16th, 2021.
For more on horror, check out Fright-A-Thon, or stay tuned to That Hashtag Show.