Slasher: Guilty Party tips the typical horror genre on its head

It’s understandable if you’ve dismissed the Slasher horror anthology series as simply a gore-fest jam-packed with characters ripe for picking off. But you’d be totally wrong. Though the genre is bursting with projects like that, Slasher isn’t just about the scare and the gore; Aaron Martin has created intricate storylines and interesting, believable characters that you feel badly for as they’re being dispatched in horrible, awful ways.

Just in time for Halloween, the sophomore season Slasher: Guilty Party drops on Netflix in its entirety on Tuesday, with a some returning faces to augment newbies assembled for slaughter. Where Season 1 of Slasher followed murders committed in a small-town, Guilty Party boasts the classic horror movie setting: a summer camp. It’s there that a group of former summer camp counsellors who—while attempting to cover up a crime they committed years before—become the target of a murder spree. Is it revenge, or happenstance?

Martin has assembled an impressive all-Canadian cast for Season 2, including Degrassi‘s Melinda Shankar as Talvinder, Being Erica‘s Paula Brancati as Dawn, Alias Grace‘s Rebecca Liddiard as Andi, The Strain‘s Jim Watson as Noah, Heartland‘s Kaitlyn Leeb as Susan and Lost & Found’s Music Studios‘ Lovell Adams-Gray as Peter; the sextet portray the counsellors. The ensemble is rounded out with Season 1 performers Joanne Vannicola, Christopher Jacot and Jefferson Brown in new roles alongside Leslie Hope, Paulino Nunes, Ty Olsson, Sebastian Piggott and Madison Cheetatow.

Though there are plenty of scares, Guilty Party does have some sweet moments; one we watched during filming at a Scouts Canada camp just outside Orangeville, Ont., boasted Shankar’s Talvinder receiving a necklace from Brancati’s Dawn.

“It was a bonding scene between the two,” Shankar says. “Tal is being gifted a nice necklace, but of course whenever there is a nice, sweet moment there is always something to contrast that.”

For Brancati, who had worked with Martin on Being Erica, signing on to Slasher: Guilty Party was a no-brainer.

“Dawn is a character that I don’t always get to play,” Brancati says. “On the outside, she’s wealthy, privileged, with a crusty exterior and a bit bitchy at times. She comes from a divorced home and has a lot of vulnerabilities that she’s masking with her sarcastic humour. She definitely has no filter.” Brancati says none of the characters is an archetype; they’re layered and very flawed.

“Aaron is unafraid of being unfiltered,” Brancati says of her showrunner. “He’s got a really dark mind and isn’t afraid to push the envelope.” Brancati, who is new to acting in the genre, admits she’s had nightmares after reflecting on the scenes she and her co-stars have filmed after a day of production. The result? It’s not hard to play scared.

Brancati divulges a bit more of the plot of Guilty Party, explaining the counsellors return to the camp, which has since become a commune, creating conflict between the visitors and those who now call the place home. Weather also adds to the drama: a massive winter storm ensures everyone is kept in tight quarters and unable to escape.

“There is a lot of gore and a lot of horror, certainly, but the characters are really textured and the relationships are really interesting and complicated and messy,” Brancati says. “Character-driven stories are interesting TV to me.”

Slasher: Guilty Party‘s full season of eight episodes arrive Tuesday, Oct. 17, on Netflix.

Images courtesy of Shaftesbury.

 

 

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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6 thoughts on “Slasher: Guilty Party tips the typical horror genre on its head”

  1. Watched the average season 1 and decided to give it anohter chance. Two episodes in and this is the worst show I’ve ever seen. Words cannot describe how bad it is.

  2. I watched the first season and actually enjoyed it. I’ve watched 4 episodes of this mess so far and I can say it’s truly one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen.

    1. i am surprised you liked season one but to each their own. we agree though, i can’t believe how bad this is. why this even got released is something i’d like to have answered. netflix doesn’t even want us to know it exists. i hope this is the end of it

  3. Not only is Guilty Party one of the worst shows ever made (this isn’t hyperbole, you need to see it to believe the incompetence) even Netflix buried the thing. The writing, acting, direction, cinematography, editing, etc. are akin to a bad student film. RIP to the careers of all involved.

  4. where to even begin with this mess? why is it being promoted here, did you watch the show?
    the good – some OK special effects
    the bad – everything else
    Slasher season one was not a good show and i decided to check this one out being in the spooky halloween mood, and I already regret it. As a commenter above stated, netflix clearly wants no association with what is their OWN series. wow! give it a few minutes of your time and you’ll see why. it isn’t even bad in an endearing way, or a so bad it’s good way. it is just one of the worst, cheesiest, poorly made things you’ll see. i don’t think I’ve ever seen so many bad performances packed into one show. it looks like they didnt even try making this, like they knew it was a bad show and they threw in the towel every step of the way. if you’re even considering watching DON’T. want proof? look at the comments here already. want more proof? netflix doesn’t even want you to know this exists.

    1. Getting a kick out of these comments and they’re all right. I liked some of season one, season two is just terrible.The only horror is in witnessing the how bad it is. I got through two episodes and shuffled through the rest and it only gets dumber. Hope a lot of people got fired for this steaming pile

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