Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 11th, 2017
BluRay released: August 21st, 2017 (UK), August 29th, 2017 (USA)
Approximate running time: 90 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK), R (USA)
Sound: LPCM Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Arrow Video USA
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $39.95 (USA) / £24.99 (UK)
“Two young couples set off to a secluded island for what promises to be a restful retreat. But the peace is short-lived: as a storm batters the island, troubled artist Kay begins to sense that a malevolent presence is here with them, stalking them at every turn. Is she losing her mind, or are her childhood nightmares of a demonic assailant coming to terrifying life?” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
The Slayer was made during an era, when stalk and kill body count Horror films were dominating the cinema landscape. And though The Slayer has many of the elements that have since become synonymous with the Slasher film sub-genre. The end result, is a film that couldn’t be more unlike that aforementioned sub-genre of films. And nowhere is more evident, then when it comes to the opening moments of The Slayer.
First and foremost, The Slayer is a supernatural Horror film that relies more on atmosphere, than it does on gory murder set pieces. And the foundation for said atmosphere comes via this film’s protagonist, a woman named Kay whose dreams are influenced from an event from her childhood. And it is this blurring of what is real and what is due to her state of mind that ultimately drives the story at hand.
From a performance standpoint, the cast more than fulfill their respective roles. With this film’s strongest performance being Sarah Kendall in the role of this film’s protagonist Kay. And in a world where things are not often what they seem. She delivers a very convincing performance of a woman who has lost her grip on reality.
The narrative is well constructed and key moments are exploited for maximum effect. And when it comes to the kill scenes they are sufficiently gory. With the film’s score and visuals doing a superb job maintaining the foreboding mood.
The Slayer comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new 4k transfer was created from the film’s original negative. The source used for this transfer is in excellent shape, colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (1 minute 56 seconds), a stills gallery, a featurette titled Return to Tybee: The Locations of The Slayer (13 minutes 18 seconds), a documentary titled Nightmare Island: The Making of The Slayer (52 minutes 24 seconds), an option to listen to an Isolated music track with optional commentary from composer Robert Folk, an audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues and an audio commentary with screenwriter / director J.S. Cardone, actress Carol Kottenbrook, executive in charge of production Eric Weston and moderated by Ewan Cant.
The extra titled Nightmare Island: The Making of The Slayer is a detailed overview about The Slayer and those who helped make this film. This extra includes comments from J.S. Cardone, producer William Ewing, cinematographer Karen Grossman, Carol Kottenbrook, Eric Weston, special effects makeup creator Robert Short and camera operator / director of photography: second unit / still photographer Arledge Armenaki.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, what type of film the director was trying to make, how the tone of the film greatly differs from other Slasher films, the release history of the film, cinematographer Karen Grossman, Tybee Island, composer Robert Folk, other production related topics and their thoughts about the film.
Other extras include, an extra titled The Tybee Post Theater Experience that contains an audience reaction track, comments before the film and a Q & A with camera operator Arledge Armenaki and Ewan Cant.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art and a thirty-six-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled If Someone Else Should Die Before I Wake… Demons and Dream Logic in ‘The Slayer’ written by Lee Gambin, an article titled Postcards from Tybee written by Ewan Cant and information about the transfer.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall The Slayer gets an excellent release from Arrow Video, highly recommended.