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AQUASLASH (2020)

Directed by Renaud Gauthier
Written by Renaud Gauthier
Starring Brittany Drisdelle, Lanisa Dawn, Madelline Harvey, Paul Zinno, Nicolas Fontaine, Samantha Hodhod, Cameron Geller, Howard Rosenstein, Chip Chuipka, Nick Walker, Ryan Ali, Suzanna Lenir, Owen Bruemmer, Jeremy Lavigne, Ivan Ossa
Find out more about this film here!

Filmmaker Renaud Gauthier, who also directed the awesome DISCOPATH, brings another unconventional and quirky slasher film with AQUASLASH. Like DISCOPATH, this is a gory film, but also retains a sense of morbid humor and has an other-worldly feel to it that is both familiar and alien at the same time.

The graduates of a local high school get together at a waterpark for an 80’s retro party to do the usual—party hardy, do drugs, and have sexy times. What they don’t know is that there is a serial killer stalking the grounds tampering with the rides and the students to ribbons.

AQUASLASH is an odd film and I can see why some might just downright loathe it as there is a sort of inner logic going on that is slightly off kilter. It’s almost as if Gauthier is honoring those raunchy beach comedies of the 80’s with plenty of cheating, philandering, canoodling, nudity, and drugs being the central focus. The film itself can be convoluted at times as AQUASLASH has a big cast full of people that sometimes look very much like others in the group. There are all kinds of convoluted relationships going on with people sleeping together, but in different relationships with other people. Everything plays out without a lot of explanation or pie chart, so the film forces you to put the relational pieces together yourself. I like this trust in the brain-power of the viewer that Gauthier has. If there is any criticism I have against this mode of storytelling, it’s that some of the cast look very similar and sometimes it was hard telling between the two redheads in bikinis and the like. If you’re going to have a large cast, make everyone look different than each other.

While there is a consistent set of thrills and kills in AQUASLASH, the film does get killer-lite and relationship-heavy in the middle, which makes the story sag a bit. Things spice up as there is a lot of anticipation for one big waterslide competition between three sets of teams going down three slides. One of the slides have large knives places inside to slide and dice the unsuspecting water-parkers. While the lead-up to this event is stretched out extraneously, the payoff is a good and gory one full of body parts and blood-red water. This is a short film, so I think that there could have been a little more meat to this movie sandwich in order for it to be more fulfilling, but once the action does start, it really doesn’t stop until the very end.

I think my affinity towards Renauld Gauthier’s style allowed me to forgive AQUASLASH for its shortcomings. I see the faults plain as day, but they didn’t bother me as much because the filmmaker’s style is so unique. Gauthier has delivered both a retro-typical slasher film, twist ending and all, and something that is unique to his style. Gauthier has only done two movies, DISCOPATH and now AQUASLASH, both slashers, both honoring periods in recent history (70’s with DISCOPATH and 80’s with AQUASLASH). Can’t wait to see what he does for the nineties. While the filmmaker has a distinct style that might rub others the wrong way, I have to say I admire Gauthier’s odd sense of storytelling and the uncanny tone to his films. AQUASLASH is a weird little gem I will definitely be watching again.

Click here for the trailer!!