Movie Review: SLASH/BACK: The Teen Alien Invasion Movie Is Awesome Despite Minor Technical Flaws [SXSW 2022]

Slash/back review

Slash/Return (2022) Movie Review from 29th Annual South by Southwest Film Festivala movie directed by Nyla Innuksukwritten by Ryan Cavan and Nyla Innuksuk and featuring Tasiana Shirley, Alexis Wolf, Nalajoss Ellsworth, Chelsea Prusky, Melissa Hood, Amelie Albert-LeBlanc, Shaun Benson and Kristian Bruun.

Director Nyla Innuksuk brings a unique image of Inuit teenagers versus aliens to the screen with the terrifyingly entertaining new sci-fi image, Slash/back. Tasiana Shirley plays Maika who, as a young girl, learned survival skills from her father. As the film progresses, Maika (who is pictured sporting a cool leather jacket) and her teenage friends will face off against an alien hugely inspired by John Carpenter’s creature. The thing. This fresh image with its arctic background is a film that will keep audiences intrigued throughout and has some great performances from the promising young teenage actresses on hand in the film. The film’s bright, sunny landscape works well for the action sequences of Slash/back as well and you will definitely not be disappointed if you love alien movies as this is one of the best recent movies in this genre. Located in Canada in a small town called Pang, get ready for a roller coaster ride from a movie.


Nalajoss Ellsworth also stars in the film as Uki, a friend of Maika despite their differences of opinion regarding some of their beliefs at hand in the film. The central premise of this film revolves around an alien taking over other life forms, but in a way that is certainly recognizable. Scenes involving a polar bear inhabited by the alien creature are particularly well orchestrated in the picture. When Maika’s younger sister is attacked, the film’s action kicks into high gear as the young girls in the picture must fight back to save civilization as we know it. The other central young girls in the film are played by Alexis Wolfe and Chelsea Prusky respectively.

Slash/back is basically a picture where teens in Pang have to fight aliens and find out who they really are, within themselves, as a result. Audiences are treated to gooey effects throughout, though some of the early scenes revealing the alien creature at hand are a little tacky in their execution. Nonetheless, the film is never anything less than enjoyable to watch.

While the girls in the film do their best to use the weapons at their disposal to kick alien ass, this film picks up momentum and the pacing is excellent, keeping the action fast as the characters are forced to use their acquired skills as well as their intelligence to survive against the odds. The film wisely leaves out the girls’ parents for the most part, which will help the film appeal to younger audiences who have probably never seen this type of film before. Cell phones weren’t invented when John Carpenter’s picture came out in 1982. Therefore, the new picture looks modernized and is, of course, very different from other alien pictures in terms of setting and characters.

The performances are nearly all superb enough for first-time actresses, and the characters are well-imagined with actor Tasiana Shirley the obvious star and star of a cast that works well together as a whole. Maika and Uki strike up a well-developed friendship, and the two actresses keep audiences intrigued by their characters, which makes the film all the more entertaining.

Slash/back has its flaws such as dialogue that isn’t always on point and some technical issues early on in regards to how the aliens take over their host, but never mind. Only a fussy person like me would complain about these things and the film is very energetic. It’s a nice take on classic creature functionality with a modern twist that puts the material way above the level expected for a low budget image like this. It’s one of the best films at the South by Southwest film festival this year.

Rating: 8/ten

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