Slash/Back is a small scale alien invasion movie set in Pangnirtung, Nunavut starring four Inuit girls fighting back to save their town. Pangnirtung is a great setting for a movie. Inuit have lived in the area for thousands of years. The land is filmed gorgeously and you get a real feel for the place. The hamlet is small so everyone walks, rides ATVs, or bikes everywhere. You get a real sense of the place as the characters are going from one place to another and you see all the houses, businesses, and other people going about their day in the background.
Life in Pangnirtung is pretty normal. The kids grab their bikes, meet up with their friends, and find stuff to get into all day. Slash/Back is definitely reminiscent of 80’s Foul Mouthed Kids Go on an Adventure movies that the first season of Stranger Things tapped into. The girls bicker and banter and talk about the cute boy that one of them is crushing on, their hopes and dreams, who wants to move off the island and who wants to stay. Then they boost one of their Dad’s boats and hunting rifle and set off for the day. What they find is an animal acting very strange, that charges them, and they have to kill. The Thing making the animal act strange follows them back to town.
In order to preserve authenticity local girls were used for the four leads. On one hand their acting and line delivery is a little off at times but on the other I wouldn’t want anyone else in their roles. The supporting cast is rounded out with veteran Canadian actors. The slouching skin creature design when inhabiting humans is somewhere between Leatherface and Vincent D’Onofrio’s character in Men in Black
The final battle and the plans the girls come up with to escape situations or directly fight back are grounded and nicely executed. They’re coming up with plans based on what they have access to. When they don traditional facial markings and gear up for battle you are right there with them rooting them on.
Slash/Back is a fun and exciting riff on old classics like The Goonies and The Thing and newer movies like Attack the Block.