Bringing anything new or catchy to the vampire-slayer sub-genre must not be too easy, considering how overdone and repetitive most of the cliche tropes are. But it shouldn’t be as difficult as K. Asher Levin’s Slayers (2022) makes it out to be. Who doesn’t want to spew their justifiable venom against mindless social media influencers? But Slayers runs the risk of being just as (or even more) annoying than even the most pointless and vapid influencers it aspires to critique. Granted, it’s a horror comedy of both the hunters and the hunted showcasing their own, not so unique, comic relief quirks; it is also a disappointing execution of a whiny idea that should’ve stayed in the folders.

Through the facade of a game screen displaying the points that the bloodsuckers and the humans are gaining against one another, Slayers follows a scruffy vampire hunter’s mission to take down the most prominent fang-wielder dynasty. The group of greedy social media celebrities is just collateral, except for the one popular gamer girl (obviously) who becomes a part of the ultimate hunt. With a scorned Hunter whose sluggish cynicism would be the cue for a classic Dean Winchester eye-roll – a nearly invincible ancient vampire family that lacks the basic fight skills – Slayers really could’ve at least been funny if it didn’t try so hard to be a commentary on the doomed, social media obsessed Millennials and Zoomers.

Abigail Kathleen Breslin in Slayers 2022

The ultimate antagonist, ancient bloodsucker Steven Rektor (Adam Ambruso) being, a filthy rich “savior” who is apparently trying to make the world a better place along with his vampy wife Beverly Rektor (Malin Akerman), is another attempt by the film to stay on top of QAnon conspiracy theories. A social media popular Stream Team consisting of influencers who would do anything for money as long as it comes with a good image become the perfect prey for the bloody couple’s sinister plans. To save them from being ripped into comes our self-proclaimed knight in a messy van–Elliot Jones–played by the talented “The Expanse” star Thomas Jane, who really couldn’t save this experience.

Elliot’s origin story, made up of a brutally murdered daughter, has led him to the world of the vampire Illuminati which he now must eradicate, even at the expense of his life. The suspicious stream gamer Flynn (Kara Hayward) runs to Elliot to save her influencer brother Jack (Jack Donnelly) and his greedy fiance Liz (Lydia Hearst), who is already beyond help. Checking all the vampire cliche boxes with the garlic syringes, the holy water-drenched crosses, and of course, the arrows that must be put through their hearts gears up the cranky hunter, but not before a thorough vampire family tree monologue is thrown at anxious Flynn. And the rest is history (lesson).

The film’s only savior is perhaps the plentiful twists that you won’t see coming. And some of those are arguably even interesting. Retired true crime show host Elliot’s current obsession with vampires comes with intriguing details about the vamp clans. He is of immense knowledge when it comes to the Rektor clan. According to Elliot, vampires are cursed with a kind of immortality that comes with an expiration date unless their spirits find a successor. The supposedly centuries-old alpha vampire apparently can only survive if he can pass his spirit down to someone who is a part of his family tree. And surprise, surprise! That “lucky” successor is Jack.

With Elliot’s rocket-fast info dumping and the absolutely random blood splatters trying to work as comic relief, the movie’s goal seems as uncertain as the supposed stealth of the uber-rich vampires. The nauseating editing making the film look like a series of disconnected spoofs certainly doesn’t help. A puny influencer being seduced and killed by a sexy vampire with washboard abs is a must-have in a vampire parody. But you don’t really see the CollegeHumor-Esque joke coming until the dying girl’s last words turn out to be, “never trust a boy with a man bun.”

Had the movie stayed loyal to the skit style, it might have been a genuinely funny, campy horror. But with a manner so disarrayed that even the message remains unclear, Slayers (2022) really couldn’t stay true to its name. A movie like this which does not have enough entertaining factors to stand out even as a casual watch; Slayers would perhaps work in a series of mindless horrors being watched in a Halloween hangout with no one really paying attention.

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Slayers (2022) Official Trailer

Slayers (2022) Movie Link: IMDb
Cast: Thomas Jane, Kara Hayward, Jack Donnelly, Lydia Hearst, Malin Akerman, Abigail Breslin
Where to watch Slayers

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