Slasher: Flesh & Blood, the latest entry in the Slasher horror anthology series, joins a strong tradition of horror about awful rich people. The last decade has given us gems like You’re Next, Get Out, Mayhem, the Purge franchise, Ready or Not, and plenty more to watch the 1% getting knocked down a peg. (Knives Out and Succession come to mind outside horror too.)
In its new home at horror streamer Shudder, Slasher season 4 takes this trope to some fun — and truly vicious — places.
It takes its place among these new classics as a clever take-down of our increasingly stratified reality, as we watch a privileged family unravel, sometimes in literal, gory detail.
Check out: Everything you need to know about Shudder
Starring Canadian horror icon David Cronenberg as a stern and sadistic patriarch to a shipping dynasty targeted by a brutal killer, the horror miniseries launches on Shudder August 12. Android Authority had the chance to watch the first four episodes ahead of the premiere.
Time to scream with this horror streaming service
What’s it about
As with previous installments of the Slasher franchise, Flesh & Blood follows characters haunted by a masked killer.
Slasher season 4 follows the wealthy Galloway clan as they meet for their annual family reunion at their father’s private island home. But this year is different from previous get-togethers. It marks 25 years since the abduction and presumed death of one of the Galloway grandchildren.
It also serves as a chance for the Galloway paterfamilias to make his children vie for his respect and riches as he reveals his imminent death. The Galloways have a morbid tradition of competing in vicious tournaments for prizes. This year’s prize is bigger. The winner will walk away with the entire family fortune. The losers walk away with nothing.
Family reunions can be murder.
But there’s more. As the spoiled (but starved for affection) Galloways plot to stab each other in the back — figuratively? — a mysterious masked figure stalks them with even more sinister motives.
The new season parcels out information slowly, building suspense and intrigue as the body count rises. No one is innocent, but nothing is quite what it seems either. All families have drama and skeletons in their closets, but the Galloways are a special kind of dysfunctional.
Slasher season 4 brings the scares
Rich people are the worst!
That’s one of the clearest takeaways of Slasher season 4.
It’s not a straightforward eat-the-rich narrative though. There’s no clear sense that the bad guys are getting what they deserve as they’re picked off one-by-one. They are bad, by and large, but their interpersonal conflicts are fascinating and layered. And it’s also not clear that the masked stranger is the only killer among them.
Have the Galloway kids suffered enough under the thumb of their sadistic father? Or are they complicit in his cruel ways?
Slasher: Flesh and Blood is a fresh and gruesome treat.
The season is uneven at times, with the tone stumbling a bit before it lands where it belongs. Once things get moving though, it’s a tight little nightmare. The isolated location with no way to contact the outside world, the whodunnit mystery, and the slowly revealed flashbacks that fill in important blanks as you go all make this a horror series worth checking out.
Slasher: Flesh & Blood is a fresh and gruesome treat.
A new home at Shudder
Slasher season 4’s new home at Shudder makes a lot of sense.
The anthology series created by Aaron Martin premiered in 2016 on Super Channel and the now-defunct Chiller. From there, Netflix picked up the rights to a second and third season before cancelling the series due to low viewership.
Now, AMC-owned horror-centric streamer Shudder has stepped in to take on the latest season.
Returning Slasher actors in Flesh & Blood include Christopher Jacot as former Galloway heir apparent Seamus, with Paula Brancati as his wife Christy, Sabrina Grdevich as Galloway daughter Florence, Patrice Goodman as longtime family maid Birgit, and Jefferson Brown as an employee who looks after the family boats.
New to the franchise are Rachael Crawford, Jeananne Goossen, Sydney Meyer, and Alex Ozerov, along with Cronenberg and others.
The move to a dedicated horror outlet makes a lot of sense. Slasher season 4 is pretty heavy and doesn’t skimp on the chills or the gnarly, graphic violence.
The season is a solid entry in the franchise. Hopefully it finds its audience at Shudder and secures more blood-soaked seasons.