Ranking The Slasher Seasons
So, earlier this month, I wrote a little about Channel Zero – what with it being horror season and me finally having an excuse to absolutely deluge you with a power-wash of nasty shit, as opposed to the rest of the year when I just do it for no good reason. And it got me thinking about my other favourite anthology horror show of the 2010s. Not American Horror Story, you fools (though I have already done a ranking on that, should you be interested), but Slasher.
I reviewed Slasher’s last season, Flesh & Blood, on this blog, and I’ve written about it before, but I would like to delve into some discussion of the entire show as a whole. Yes, I’m here to start some arguments and ruffle some feathers (or maybe just receive a cavalcade of utter agreement, as I always hope) and rank the Slasher seasons. Let’s get into it!
4. Guilty Party
There’s still so much I like about Slasher’s second season, but there does need to be a last place, and Guilty Party takes it for me. The twist was a little too obvious and the smaller focus of the setting lacked some of the joyfully silly Quivering Finger of Accusation stuff in the wider community that I enjoy so much about the show. The flashbacks don’t mesh quite as smoothly with the main plot as they do in the other seasons, and the design of the killer is the least interesting out of all of the seasons for me. It’s not a bad season, by any stretch, but it doesn’t have the same snap and zing of the others.
3. Flesh & Blood
There is maybe a total of three milimeters between my top three of this seasons, because I love them all so very much. Flesh & Blood took the limited setting of Guilty Party and managed to make it feel genuinely claustrophobic and unsettling, with an incredibly stacked cast all giving it their full-blown horror-camp best. Sabrina Grdevich ate this season, and the episode centred around her is probably the single best one the show has ever done. The familial twist left room for some nasty family history to form the backdrop for the unfathomably horrible kills, and it felt like every character was imbued with a deranged bio deserving of their own individual spin-off.
2. The Executioner
If I had to pick a season of this show purely based on the entertainment value, it would be this one. The first season was such a surprise to me, in a great way, just because of how much it outshone what I thought it would deliver – the mystery is great, the small town setting makes for some really fun Quivering Finger of Accusation stuff (Christopher Jacot and Katie McGrath getting pissed on white wine while they accuse each other of murder is honestly friendship goals if I’ve ever seen it), and it’s got the feel of a classic eighties slasher that the directors and writers manage to sustain over the course of every increasingly wild episode.
Where to even start with Solstice, honestly? Bill Moseley drinking blood from a coffee cup? The neon-pagan design of the killer? A woman watching her boyfriend get murdered in VR? The mid-way twist that completely recenters the series without feeling like a let-down? Solstice is a perfect amalgamation of everything I love about Slasher, distilled into one brilliant season: a fantastic ensemble cast, great action, a compelling mystery, a mid-way twist that serves to elevate the story instead of feeling like a “gotcha”. The episodes being split into parallel chunks of time from the night of the original murder and the contemporary story blends the old and the new seamlessly, while the apartment block setting brings everyone’s story together in way that feels effortless. Mercedes Morris puts in the unarguable best turn as the eventual killer, and, for what it’s worth, I also fell in love with Paula Brancati as Violet in this season, and I’m so keen to see her take on another nasty role in the show again soon. There’s so much to love about Solstice, as Slasher’s most impressive and most ambitious season, and it’s at my number one spot. Did I mention the thing about Bill Moseley and the coffee cup full of blood yet?
What does your Slasher ranking look like? Do you agree with me, or are you ready to argue? Are you looking forward to the next Slasher season, Ripper? Let me know in the comments below!
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(header image via Netflix)