The first few minutes of Slasher.com lay out the course of the movie while the opening credits roll. Someone is killing women they meet online and a very determined detective, with a keen sense of IP addresses and VPN software, has squads of police officers busting down doors across the city in search of the killer. Not since Billy Mack, the detective down in Texas, from The Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run,” who vowed that Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue wouldn’t escape justice, has an officer of the law been so adamant about capturing someone and yet had such little impact on the actual story.
However, despite public warnings from Detective “SysAdmin” and the anchor for NOW News to avoid online dating, Kristy (Morgan Carter) still arrives at the apartment of Jack (Ben Kaplan) after the two of them, having met online and chatting for only a few weeks, decide to meet up. Some awkward small talk follows, the killings are mentioned, and Kristy suggests that maybe SHE is the killer, giving Jack pause before she laughs and says she is kidding. Since meeting someone in person after swiping right a few times isn’t good enough for these two, Kristy has rented a cabin in the woods for the weekend for them to get to know each other. Upon arriving at their location, Kristy and Jack meet the Myers family — Momma (Jewel Shepard, Return of the Living Dead), Jesse (R.A. Mihailoff, Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) and Caitlin (Rebecca Crowley) — a slightly odd, albeit normal enough looking family.
And that’s when things begin to go off the rails, both for Kristy and Jack as well as the viewer.
The horror genre has numerous entries that revolve around the Internet and social media. Unfriended, Feardotcom, Smiley and The Den are just a few and Slasher.com could easily become another one if viewers are willing to overlook one, small detail: Chelsea Andes (writer) and Chip Gubera (story and directorial duties) try their damnedest to take the entire social media/online dating aspect out of the story after the opening 10 minutes, and turn the movie into a backwoods fight for survival. Yes, the online-dating-killer plot point IS revisited and addressed head-on later in the film, but the majority of the running time is spent in the cabin, the surrounding woods and with the Myers clan.
This is not to say that Slasher.com is a bad movie — it’s not. In fact, it’s actually pretty good. There are some good twists and turns and a couple of reveals that are somewhat surprising, though seemingly obvious in hindsight. The acting is above average for an independent movie with Shepard taking her character to the edge of the campiness abyss and then dialing it back a step before repeating the process. Kaplan, on the other hand, seems a bit awkward in his delivery at times, but as the movie ends, you wonder if that wasn’t his intended approach.
In the end, Slasher.com (aka S/ash.er, which for what it’s worth, is a cooler name) grabs the viewer right from the start and over the course of the next few minutes establishes everything you need to know. Then, just as quickly as it set things up, it pushes them aside and takes a totally unexpected approach to the proceedings. In other words, keeping with the motif of the internet, Slasher.com is a clickbait title, delivering a movie that could have had a much more content-appropriate name.
Slasher.com (2.5 / 5)