Road Rash Reviews

Slash/Back [Shudder] Review****-

87 mins | 2022

4 star coming-of-age creature-feature horror.

Slash/Back is a 2022 Canadian Unuit science fiction/ horror film, with a screenplay from Ryan Cavan (Sinister Switch) and Nyla Innuksuk, who also makes her charming and highly creative feature directorial debut.

It is a Shudder Exclusive, available to stream now on the horror streaming service.

“Inuit have been hunting for many generations. In order to survive, we must be knowlegeable and patient.”

At the edge of the Arctic Circle lies the small Inuit hamlet of Pangnirtung, population: 1481, a million miles from anywhere. While the adult population still follow and teach the old ways, the youngsters have lost faith in the face of modern distractions. They much prefer their cell phones to following ancient traditions.

Maika (Tasiana Shirley) is no exception to this, she lives with her parents and younger sister Aja (Frankie Vincent-Wolfe) and loves nothing more than spending her time hanging out with her friends Leena (Chelsea Prusky), Uki (Nalajoss Ellsworth) and Jesse (Alexis Wolfe). They are fed up with their limited opportunities and are always getting into mischief.

One day they decide to take a boat acroos the water to an old cabin for a bit of adventure, refusing to take Aja with them as she is too young. They tell each other stories, they love the plot of John Carpenter’s The Thing. When a polar bear approaches the cabin, Uki shoots it, but to their surprise it gets back up and comes after them. It catches Aja, who has cycled to join them, however they manage to fend it off. There is obviously something wrong with the way it moved.

They head back to town, where they are distracted by local heart throb Thomassie (Rory Anawak) who is throwing a party they all wish to attend. Uki has gone back out to the cabin and discovered an alien vessel infecting the local wildlife. When the aliens  manage to get hold of Officer Lefebvre (Shaun Benson – A  House on Fire, Fatman), the problem becomes more immediate. With all the adults occupied at a dance, can the girls use their training to save the town?

“A spaceship, what the…? What do they need blood for?”

Slash/Back is a very enjoyable film and an excellent feature debut. The story is obviously a low budget homage to The Thing, but it’s unusual setting makes it feel like a completely different animal. It’s beautifully filmed, to show off the locations to the full potential and hammering home the very real sense of isolation in the face of a serious threat.

Nyla Unnuksuk took a risk with the casting, using a group of untested youngsters, but for the most part they pull it off admirably, carrying the story well and creating relateable relationships as they discover the world together while fighting a common enemy.

The practical special effects are also good and make for some pretty gory and creepy moments. All in all, a fun film and well worth a watch.

“So, we know they can, like, smell their own blood, and noodles come out of their hands, and claws come out of the noodles.”

Slash/Back is available to stream now on Shudder

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DirectorNyla Innuksuk
GenreHorror, sci-fi
StarringTasiana Shirley, Nalajoss Ellsworth, Chelsea Prusky, Alexis Wolfe, Frankie Vincent-Wolfe
Category: film, Review, Shudder