J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Monday, August 15, 2016

HSFF ’16: Night of the Slasher

You have never seen Star Trek’s Spock like this before. However, you will certainly be familiar with the horror film motifs that are about to be satirized. Jenelle knows them too. She is deliberately breaking all the slasher movie survival rules for a reason: revenge. Of course, preternaturally resilient stalkers are as hard to kill as final girls—a fact viewers will see for themselves over the course of Shant Hamassian’s wickedly sly short film Night of the Slasher (trailer here), which screened during 2016 HollyShorts Film Festival.

Basically, Slasher is like all the genre satire of the Scream franchise compressed into the now legendary prologue—arguably the best part. In a way, the short also represents a sequel of sorts. Let’s just say there is a good reason Jenelle is so self-conscious about the scars on her neck. Apparently, she knew what she did wrong the first time or had Jamie Kennedy to explain it to her. She intends to do it all again, but this time she will be prepared for what follows—or so she thinks.

Hang onto your Drew Barrymore collectible figurines, because Slasher is a heck of a horror roller coaster. You generally know where it is going, but the way Hamassian keeps upping the ante is pretty awesome. He definitely knows his 1980s horror, including the Star Trek connection to Halloween (that Michael Myers is wearing a beached out Shatner mask).

The film looks pitch-perfect and the physicality of leads Lily Berlina (as Jenelle) and Adam Lesar (as Killer Spock) is impressive. This might be a proof-of-concept short, but it is hard to imagine how Hamassian will top the sinister lunacy he has already wrought in this world (but we’d like to see him try). Highly recommended for old school horror fans, Night of the Slasher next unspools this Wednesday night (8/17) at the MidAmericon II Film Festival, following its screening at this year’s HollyShorts.

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