Despite going through many evolutions, for the discerning horror fans among you, you’ve got to appreciate the simple, yet effective thrills from the Slasher genre. You get a bunch of identikit teens, some that remind you of jerks you knew, and watch as the unstoppable killer finds creative ways to dispatch said teens. Sometimes your root for one or two survivors, but others you just want to watch them all squirm. Though coming up with the creative kills can be more of a challenge than it first appears. In 2019, a Canadian film combining those same tropes with a place of water-based fun, the waterpark In Aquaslash.
The graduating class enjoys a proverbial orgy at the water park, celebrating success with copious amounts of sex, drugs, and watery fun. Leading up to the annual tradition of the high schoolers competing to see who can slide the fastest. Little do they know there’s a murderer in their midst, who is picking them off one by one. The conniving killer is building up to a crescendo as they have rigged the watersides to be a literal death trap. Is there any way to stop the ensuing bloodbath, or will the victims get to the point of the situation?
We’re not just introduced to potential victims but suspects too, as the park has some shady characters who might have a grudge with the park’s current operation. As such, a whodunit aspect permeates, much like the first two Friday the 13th films, we get P.O.V. shots of the killer, killing in non-waterslide related ways. Those wanting to see slashings at splash-zone will have to wait for half of the film’s running time to get going (and then sometime after that). However, once it gets going, it does deliver more than enough gore and carnage to make the long build-up worth it, while provide some newfound anxieties about going down those waterslides in the future.
Wearing its 80s inspiration on its sleeve, Aquaslash manages to heavily evoke the traditional slasher pantheon of the golden age of the genre, without turning the film into a period piece. In case its influences weren’t as obvious, an interesting indie cover of Sunglasses at Night (of course, a song from Grand Theft Auto Vice City) is probably one of the most overt call-backs to the era, along with some old-fashioned looking uniforms at the waterpark itself. 80s nostalgia is still retaining its alluring influence, making Aquaslash an appealing choice for aquatic action.
Aquaslash is a peculiar entity; terrifically marketed with an ingeniously alluring premise, and a wide collection of obnoxious archetypes more than meeting their ends. While the premise takes a long while to get going, it does deliver. With its fun tale of homicidal vengeance at a waterpark. You can see the dedication in emulating the classic slashers of yesteryear, and the devotion to Americana from the U.S.A.’s neighbour to the north. If you can put up with waiting in a queue for a while, Aquaslash might make more than a splash.
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