SXSW 2022 review: Teen angst and aliens in the Arctic tundra, ‘SLASH/BACK’ is a culturally cool coming-of-age film from director Nyla Innuksuk.

SLASH/BACK


We can all attest to being bored as teenagers. Even the Arctic tundra might seem uncool when you’re a certain age. SXSW22 feature film Slash/Back follows a group of Inuit girls who’ve had enough of being disregarded. Something is quite wrong in their town. When the adults won’t listen, they take matters into their own hands. Gather your pride, the girls from Pang are about to kick some ass.

The original music by The Halluci Nation and vocal performances by Tanya Tagaq are electrifying. It vibrates off the screen. During the opening credits, I stood up and danced in my kitchen because it was so infectious. The special FX makeup and CGI are startling. But it is the performances from this fresh young cast that pulls you into the narrative. These kids are stars. The emotional upheaval is all too familiar as they struggle with hormones, racism, and, in this instance, aliens. While most of us don’t have the alien experience in our back pocket, we can all agree that pre-teen to teenage years was complicated. The dialogue from writers Nyla Innuksuk (who also directs) and Ryan Cavan almost feels improvised. They have nailed the jargon of youth. The cinematography is breathtaking. Even if the characters aren’t impressed with the landscape, the audience unmistakably experiences the natural grandeur of Pangnirtung.

Pay close attention to the very intentional opening and closing credits as they change from Inuktitut to English. It’s a subtle but powerful statement. Slash/Back is a quirky coming-of-age tale with horror as a catalyst. With elements of The Thing and the energy of Stranger Things, the genre audience will adore this film.



Slash/Back at Online Screening
Mar 14, 9:00am CDT – Mar 16, 9:00am CDT
9:00am10:26am
Availability: United States
Slash/Back at Violet Crown Cinema 1
Mar 14, 2022
3:45pm5:11pm
Slash/Back at Violet Crown Cinema 3
Mar 14, 2022
4:15pm5:41pm
Slash/Back at Stateside Theatre
Mar 17, 2022
6:15pm7:41pm


Director:

Nyla Innuksuk

Executive Producer:

Hussain Amarshi, Neil Mathieson

Producer:

Dan Bekerman, Christopher Yurkovich, Alex Ordanis, Nyla Innuksuk, Stacey Aglok McDonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ethan Lazar

Screenwriter:

Nyla Innuksuk, Ryan Cavan

Cinematographer:

Guy Godfree

Editor:

Simone Smith, Todd E. Miller

Production Designer:

Zosia Mackenzie

Sound Designer:

John Loranger

Music:

The Halluci Nation and Michael Brook

Principal Cast:

Tasiana Shirley, Alexis Wolfe, Chelsea Prusky, Frankie Vincent-Wolfe, Nalajoss Ellsworth


 

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.