When I was given the opportunity to review a horror movie about a couple that meets online I was like, yup, that's the one for me. I've personally met many people online over the past 20 years, most notably my husband. I'm also a huge fan of the TV show (and movie) CATFISH. So yeah, this movie had me from the word go - and also "slasher."
SLASHER.COM begins with the brutal murder of a woman on a first date with a man she met online. We're given a few clues as to who this "slasher" may be, but it's not immediately revealed. I mean, who wants to blow their wad in the first couple of minutes? We're then shown some news footage and some official-looking people discussing how dangerous online dating can be. Yeah, we got it - there are some creepers out there.
Cut to our protagonists, Kristy (Morgan Carter) and Jack (Ben Kaplan), who are meeting in person for the first time after only ever chatting online. They're off to a cabin in the woods for a hopefully romantic weekend. That's a bit forward for a first date if you ask me, but who am I to judge the screenwriter's decisions? So off we go into the woods of Missouri where our couple heads to learn more about each other.
SLASHER.COM also introduces us to a too-close-for-comfort family who owns and operates the romantic getaway in scenic woodland Missouri. We have Papa Jesse Myers (R.A. Mihailoff), a big old machete-wielding teddybear of a man who really, really loves his daughter with wildly-colored hair, Caitlin (Rebecca Crowley). We also have Momma Myers (Jewel Shepard) who really, really loves her family heirloom spoon. It's a nice spoon.
For a movie called SLASHER.COM there's really not much slashing or dot-comming that occurs. I wouldn't say that much time is spent on how they met online or how long they talked for before meeting. There is a brief scene at the start explaining that Jack and Kristy met online. I was expecting more of a storyline that revolved around a person that lured their victims into a trap by using online dating sites. I suppose that did happen but the link was tenuous at best.
There were some cool murder scenes, a pretty rad chin-impaling comes to mind. I kept pining for my homeboys Jason and Mike Myers but unfortunately did not find their energy in this film. Not even a grimy touch of Frank Zito. The staging has a definite "porno" vibe - I felt like any scene could easily turn hardcore. Between the dialogue, staging and camera work, I'd hazard a guess that the director may have started out in adult films. If not, perhaps it is something that he should consider.
The movie also has a decent amount of good old-fashioned T&A. Although not an adult film, there were some sex scenes. We were also treated to a nice, wholesome skinny-dipping, an uncomfortable cop and feel here and there and a wonderfully voyeuristic peeping Tom. Lastly, everyone's favorite nice spoon. I can't fault the movie for that original gem.
I can fault the movie on poor musical choice. It was quite off-putting at times and poorly placed in certain scenes. There was also some unfortunately written dialogue that just didn't come across as natural at all. Realistically, this movie is an amateur effort. I couldn't stop wondering if I was being punked and this was actually a porno. Wait, they're speaking awkwardly to each other. They've stopped short. He could be ready to take out his junk! Nope, just another awkward bit of dialogue.
Film titles tend to be pretty spot on. Think THE THING or THE EXORCIST or JAWS. They were all appropriate and succinct. We had a thing, we had an exorcist and by golly we had a shark! SLASHER.COM had some killing and sure, the couple met online, but was that enough? Unfortunately, I felt the title advertised something different to what the movie revealed itself to be. I think I got CATFISHed.
Cindy Van Wert
SLASHER.COM will be released on DVD Nationwide on March 7th