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Slash/Back (2022)

In an era of so much choice when it comes to the limitless available content on a variety of streaming services, there tends to be an array of efforts from writers and directors that go unnoticed. 'Shudder' is the perfect example of a platform that has countless hidden gems under its umbrella. Whether 'Slash/Back' is a film that falls under that category remains to be seen. But, one thing is for certain, the heart and passion that goes into this low budget Canadian Inuit sci-fi horror film directed by Nyla Innuksuk, hasn't gone unnoticed. The cast consists on a group of young female Inuit teens living in a secluded village on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Considering the age of these children, I was beyond impressed with how well they collectively managed to carry this film, especially Nalajoss Ellsworth as Uki and Tasiana Shirley as Maika. And whilst it is clear this group of young cast have limited experience within the world of acting, their combined enthusiasm really provided me with a sense of willingness for them to succeed. As much as I hate to say it, this films biggest failings lies within the special effects department. The CGI is less than desirable, and extremely clunky. This is especially noticeable earlier on in the film, more so when focusing on the wildlife within the area. Things soon become much more impressive once the towns people start to fall victim to the infection. Using a loose fitting latex mask to emphasise that this entity has taken hold from within, looks incredibly effective and truly quite haunting. Accompanying this mask with a contortionist style movement, makes for some pretty impressive and unique antagonists. The set location is mesmerising, filmed on location in the hamlet of Pangnirtung, just south of the Arctic Circle. Completely surrounded by rolling mountains and beautiful snowy back drops, makes this one of the more visually enjoyable films I have seen for some time. This experience is only amplified when combined with the excellent cinematography helmed by Guy Godfree, someone who frames shots beautifully and really utilises the desolate landscape around him. The film does disappointingly reach a rather anti climatic and unfulfilling ending. Yet, whilst this is by no means a perfect film, it is driven forward with plenty of heart, and I can't help but appreciate what they were trying to achieve here. 'Slash/Back' is a 'Shudder' exclusive and if you have the platform already, I would say give this a chance and show it some support. There is certainly more than enough moments here that are worthy of anyone's time.



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