Slash/Back Image


By Michael Talbot-Haynes | March 13, 2022

There are a lot of truly scary moments with well-earned dread coursing its way through almost every frame. One of the skin-wearing aliens evokes a much more frightening variation on Leatherface than we got with the droopy drawers version in Netflix’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Innuksuk and co-writer Ryan Caven show mastery over the science fiction-horror plotting by neatly setting up the rules of the unreal elements in a way organic to the story. Cementing all this together is excellent shot composition, particularly of the unbelievably beautiful landscapes. The editing is seamless, with the narrative moving at a high gallop. The production value is also of the highest caliber.

“…a lot of truly scary moments with well-earned dread…”

Who would have thought those greasy horror and science fictions movies we grew up with would become the perfect vehicles for expanding representation? As I have said before, anyone of any race, age, gender, orientation, or culture can be covered in fake blood. Genre pictures have an immediate draw due to their simple set-ups that allow anyone to be the protagonist. I loved all the references to indigenous culture in the script, especially the leather jacket Maika wears to battle with “No Justice on Stolen Land” written on the back. However, the picture has broad appeal as its themes of small-town life, being poor, and first loves ring universally. The acting is phenomenal; these girls are superstars. It is especially refreshing to see teens playing teens instead of stunted 20-something pros. I also love that tiny Pangnirtung is represented in all its natural splendor in such a fantastic movie.

Given how scary and fun this is, I am left wondering what H.P. Lovecraft’s arctic horror novel In The Mountains of Madness would look like with indigenous characters finding the expedition if helmed by Nyla Innuksuk; it seems a perfect fit. Trying to review Slash/Back is like trying to critique fireworks. It reaches up higher than you can imagine, and you are left trying to find different words for spectacular. It looks like the next Spielberg is coming out of the North Pole.

Slash/Back screened at the 2022 SWSX Film Festival.

Slash/Back (2022)

Directed: Nyla Innuksuk

Written: Nyla Innuksuk, Ryan Caven

Starring: Tasiana Shirley, Nalajoss Ellsworth, Alexis Wolfe, Chelsea Prusky, Frankie Vincent-Wolfe, etc.

Movie score: 9.5/10

Slash/Back Image

"…refreshing to see teens playing teens..."

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  1. Better of the 2022 South by Southwest Movie Pageant says:

    […] spirit, it appears churlish to concentrate on shortcomings in a movie with a lot character.» And Movie Risk‘s Michael Talbot-Haynes concludes, «The movie isn’t just necessary but in addition […]

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