Set in a dated waterpark, Aquaslash follows a weekend of debauchery and drama for a group of high school graduates and staff members that takes a slide into murderous mayhem as a killer strikes with a vendetta years in the making.

Without a doubt, Aquaslash is a pure ode to the slasher film of the 1980s. From Friday the 13th through to The Mutilator, director Renaud Gauthier and co-writer Philip Kalin clearly have a passion for the genre that is translated through the entire film; it’s a barrage of POV shots, bikinis, and excess. It even plays the Scooby Doo red herring playbook to the maximum, with countless reveals that stretch even the most elastic bounds of sense.

Yet while Aquaslash engages with the nostalgic hallmarks of the genre, it unfortunately struggles to balance them. The film obsesses over the many love triangles, dramatic connections and sheer hedonism of the characters, instead of building a celebration of slasher through wild set pieces and the creation of atmosphere and anticipation. This imbalance strongly affects the pace of the film, with the middle section dragging without any incident, but rather a LOT of red herrings and heavily stylised yet ultimately disposable titillation.

However, Aquaslash has one major trick up its sleeve: it’s set piece climax. Suffice to say I’ll save spoilers, but it’s the highlight of the film that really plays to the audience, with a perfect balance of humour and gross out horror, teasing what the film could have been if it committed more to the ingenuity and tongue in cheek gore of the slasher genre.

While Aquaslash is fun homage to the classic 80s slasher genre, it unfortunately fails to make a real splash as a retro delight, with pacing issues and a chronic lack of the titular slashing.

Arrow Video Frightfest Digital Review: Aquaslash
2.5Overall Score
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About The Author

Matthew Hammond is a full time cinephile, specializing in cult, art house and 1980s cinema. While film is his overwhelming passion, Matthew has been known to enjoy comic books, Sherlock Holmes stories and a good film related T-shirt. Feel free to email me with any questions or comments: mattpaul250190@gmail.com