The Slasher franchise has had multiple homes in its relatively short lifespan, and the fourth chapter, titled Flesh & Blood, is set to debut in its new home on Shudder August 12.
While the new chapter dials up the gore, the plot does not land as well as it should.
Shifting the action to an island is very reminiscent of Harper’s Island, which was much more watchable than what we’re getting here with Slasher Flesh & Blood.
When I initially watched the trailer, it gave me Succession meets Scream vibes, and while the series does manage that blend to some extent, the first four episodes are not the easiest to watch.
The hook is definitely there: A family arrives on a secluded island where old wounds and competitive rivalries come to light when the family realizes a deranged killer is on the island, intent on killing them one by one.
The immediate issue is the tone of the show.
It begins with a truly chilling scene that finds a tone synonymous with horror before adding humor and truly bizarre plot twists that make the series feel like it would have been better suited on Lifetime.
You would think the show would want to embrace the new medium by going all-horror.
Yes, there is a need to develop the world and the characters, but it feels like it’s done to the show’s detriment.
Many people decide whether they want to watch a show based on the series premiere, and the execution of the opening episode feels like the plot was an afterthought in favor of the kills.
The murders are gruesome, something that sets the series apart from its predecessors.
Seriously, if you’re squeamish, there’s a good chance you’ll have to sit there with a cushion over your face, so if that’s your thing, then this might be for you.
But it isn’t easy to care about so hastily developed characters in a setting that feels like a bit of a stretch. It’s idyllic, clearing the way for plenty of kills, but the story has minimal stakes.
Sabrina Grdevich is a true standout. Her character’s icy personality immediately steals the show, with the actress eating up every single scene she is a part of.
It’s hard to pay attention to what’s going on elsewhere because her character gets the best material to work with, even if it comes across as forced most of the time.
The others get some pitiful dialogue that feels stilted and not consistent with the rest of the show. Inconsistency is peppered throughout the show, from the tone to the dialogue, to the plots.
It’s a shame that, after four episodes, I didn’t have much care for the second half of the season, and that all comes down to the execution of it all.
Beyond the killing, there’s not much going on, and while you’re supposed to root for certain characters to survive, it’s hard to find anyone to like on the show.
Many of the lighthearted scenes could have been ripped out to make this feel more consistent with the rest of the franchise because much of the more family-oriented scenes don’t serve much to the overall plot.
If Shudder wanted to bring the series back, there should have been more care for audiences’ desires.
A season about a complicated family should have been fun, filled with thrills and kills, but at the halfway point, we have mind-numbing reveals and lots of kills.
It’s hard to imagine the second half of the season is much better, but it could turn itself around.
Will you be checking out the series when it bows on Shudder?
Hit the comments below.
Check out the trailer below.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.