At a time where online dating could prove fatal, Jack and Kristy decide they’re ready to meet in person. Aiming for an adventurous first date, they plan a weekend getaway to a cozy cabin deep in the woodlands of rural Missouri. While discovering each other, they soon learn of the terrorizing horrors that the forest, and the family lurking there, has in store for outsiders.
While the final result of “Slasher.com” is that of huge disappointment, I found the central premise to be quite intriguing. Because I have no way around some of the plot twists contained herein, there will be spoilers involved so if you would rather wait and see the movie first, then stop reading here and come back later. Otherwise, I will proceed. The movie starts off with a man and woman having sex but very quickly, he finishes and proceeds to kill her. We are then introduced to Jack (Ben Kaplan), a young man who, it appears, has just moved into town. With packed boxes lining his apartment, we hear on the TV in the background, the disturbing news about a string of deaths of young women in the area, linked to a suspected serial killer. Then a knock comes to his door and when he opens it, we meet Kristy (Morgan Carter). Jack and Kristy have been talking online through a dating site and this is their first time meeting in person. In no time, the couple is heading off to a cabin in the woods. Once there, they meet Momma Myers (Jewel Shepard), the owner of the cabins and her husband Jesse (R.A. Mihailoff). The young couple makes their way to their cabin and spends the entire evening intimately getting to know each other.
So far so good. The next day, the smitten couple hike the acreage surrounding their cabin and when they return, Momma has brought them her special evening tea, as a way to relax but after drinking it, Jack and Kristy black out and when they wake up, they are in their underwear and tied and bound in the basement of Momma and Jesse’s house. Apparently, they enjoy sexually torturing and killing young couples. When they take Kristy into another room to begin their mutilation of her, Jack manages to escape. Jesse quickly gives chase and the two men fight in the woods, with Jack getting the upper hand and managing to knock Jesse out. He then makes his way back to his cabin, gets dressed, takes out an entire arsenal of knives, blades, and machetes and proceeds to head back to Momma’s basement where he knocks her out and turns the tables on her. When she awakens, he informs her, and Kristy, who is still tied and bound, that he is actually a serial killer, the same one that has been on the news in connection with the recent deaths of many young women. When Momma tells him that his technique is all wrong and that instead of just randomly killing, he needs to instill a sense of fear and dread into his victims before he takes their lives, forcing them to see exactly who has the power, he has a newfound respect for her. But then Jesse turns up and the two men engage in another fight and just as Jack is about to kill him, out of nowhere, Kristy, now unbound, screams at him not to hurt her daddy. Come to find out that Kristy is actually part of this maniacal, deranged family who meets young men online and then lures them away for a romantic weekend in the woods for her family to kill.
Not too bad I hear you say. So why the low rating? Because not one person in this movie can act, seriously, not one. The twist about Jack being the serial killer and then giving Momma and Jesse a run for their money, was inspiring, if I’m going to be brutally honest but because Ben Kaplan, the actor who plays Jack, cannot emote, even the slightest, the entire premise is thrown away and because none of the other actors are very good either, anything that could have been successfully carried along, at least by a capable cast, is flushed down the toilet. Jack is a wimp, even when he fights Jesse in the woods, his punches are laughably feeble and he misses his mark most of the time. Maybe that was the whole idea, to keep his ‘big’ reveal hidden, until just the right time, but even when that moment does transpire, you find yourself laughing so hard at the thought that this pansy is in fact, the big, bad scary serial killer everyone is afraid of.
I am familiar with Jewel Shepard, who plays Momma, her resume is pretty interesting, with small roles in such classics as “The Return of the Living Dead,” “The Cooler,” and “The Artist” and here, she has plenty of fun with her over-the-top antics, it’s just a shame nobody else in the cast put forth as much as effort as she did, as outrageous and exaggerated as she was. A good movie incorporates a mixture of many elements and I say this as an independent filmmaker for over thirty years. While a good script is what leads your film, having capable, dependable actors is what carries it along as they are who the audience will try to connect with and relate to. And while the script here was actually pretty decent, for the most part, the acting, if you could call it that, was horrendous. Chip Gubera has made a name for himself directing and producing low-budget horror films and while many big names within the industry started out this way, Brian De Palma, Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, to name but a few, I hope with his next project, he ups the ante so to speak, and employs a cast that will be so good, they will be able to overcome even the weakest script.
Now available on DVD