Slashening: The Final Beginning is a sequel to Troma’s horror-comedy, The Slashening. Luckily, writer/director Brandon Bassham knows that not everyone might have seen the first film, so its plot is recapped in the opening moments of this flick. Guests at a housewarming party are told how their host got such a good deal on his new place… several people were viciously killed there a few years ago. Ignoring all the obvious signs of danger, the revelers engage in various activities such as sex and drugs only to be murdered.
The story proper picks up sometime after that as Madison (Addie Weyrich) begins going to a trauma support group after her father’s death. The group is led by Pat (Patrick Foy), one of the only survivors from the first movie. Also in attendance are Dylan (McManus Woodend), an “ally to feminism,” who is really there to score; grieving father Ben (Marcus Bishop-Wright); Scott (Jack Frederick), a musician who’s trying to get off drugs; Link (Colin O’Brien) questions reality at every turn; two airhead, wannabe influencers Viv (Jean Louise O’Sullivan) and Bex (Jamie Lutz), who do not understand why they are there; and finally there’s the possibly psychotic, definitely has rage-issues Cher (Madonna Refugia).
Shortly after Madison attends her first meeting, the other members get killed off. Who is doing this and why? Is Madison safe? Can Pat survive multiple slashenings?
And that is really all there is to the story of Slashening: The Final Beginning. The film follows these people on an outing or in a meeting, and then they are murdered in some ridiculous fashion. While the murders are a lot of fun, this sequel is not really horrific ever. Its tone, style, and writing all land this firmly in comedy territory, with the loads of blood and guts a more added treated than effective scares. So, Bassham’s sequel is a horror-comedy that is light on terror.
“Shortly after Madison attends her first meeting, the other members get killed off.”
However, when one has a movie that is this bloody hysterical and entertaining, that is not a problem. While some of the early gags, especially the one about proving sobriety for consent, last a bit too long, the screenplay is very clever, morphing the absurd length the joke goes on for into part of the joke. The dialogue involving plot specifics is a bit exposition-heavy, but that only affects one or two scenes. Mainly, Bassham is interested in wringing as much comedy out of these idiosyncratic personalities as possible. In that regard, his film is a monumental success.
From the jump, Slashening: The Final Beginning will have one laughing, and it rarely lets up. Even the moments when the drama shifts into focus — chiefly, when Madison is discussing her woes with her roommate/best friend in a bathtub — a punchline is still being built towards. After her first meeting, Madison attends Scott’s band’s show that night, and the “yuk out” will leave you in stitches. It also has one of the oddest scenes of a person climaxing ever. It’s both hilarious and disgusting, so this movie to a tee.
Of course, if the cast were unable to deliver the comedy appropriately, no matter how good the writing, the jokes would not land. But everyone brings energy and commitment to their role, so each actor generates at least one big guffaw before meeting their demise (presuming they die). Weyrich is instantly likable as Madison and Foy’s reliving of his trauma is so absurd, the slightly over-the-top acting absolutely works.
Slashening: The Final Beginning is super funny from start to finish. The jokes almost all land, the pacing is perfect, and the cast is uniformly excellent. While those expecting to be frightened will leave disappointed, everyone else is going to be laughing until their sides hurt.