Seemingly nestled safely away in the Earth’s northern reaches, the sleepy hamlet of Pangnirtung, Nunavut transforms into a chaotic battleground as Inuit teenagers go toe-to-bodysnatched-toe with alien invaders who’ve slithered into the skins of local policemen and wildlife. While the odds are stacked against Maika (Tasiana Shirley), Uki (Nalajoss Ellsworth), and Jesse (Alexis Vincent-Wolfe), they know their horror movie tropes, descend from a long line of hunters, and aren’t about to take any nonsense for extraterrestrial invaders. Drawing from both Hollywood classics like The Thing and traditional Inuit stories of the shapeshifting Ijiraq, Nyla Innuksuk’s exuberant debut harnesses genre cinema’s allegorical power to revisit colonial histories and explore contemporary Indigeneity, while also delivering enough suspense and spectacle to put many studio efforts to shame. Bolstered by its gregarious performances and suffused with a sense of community (it employed a largely local crew), Slash/Back possesses a warrior spirit that’s as endearing as it is indomitable.
Originally from Igloolik, Nunavut, Nyla Innuksuk studied film at Ryerson University before working as a producer at the Indigenous-owned Big Soul Productions. She explores emerging technologies and interactive works through her company Mixtape VR and is a writer for Marvel Comics, where she co-created the teenage superhero Snowguard.
The girls from Pang seriously kick ass, and I can’t wait to see what Innuksuk does next.
Marya E. Gates, RogerEbert.com
Trying to review Slash/Back is like trying to critique fireworks… It looks like the next Spielberg is coming out of the North Pole.
Michael Talbot-Haynes, Film Threat
Slash/Back is the kind of film that gets me excited about filmmaking.
Bears Rebecca Fonte, Hammer to Nail
Tasiana Shirley, Alexis Vincent-Wolfe, Nalajoss Ellsworth, Chelsea Prusky, Frankie Vincent-Wolfe, Shaun Benson, Kristian Bruun
In English and Inuktitut with English subtitles
Geoblocked to British Columbia.
Neil Mathieson, Hussain Amarshi
Daniel Bekerman, Chris Yurkovich, Alex Ordanis, Nyla Innuksuk, Stacey Aglok Macdonald, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ethan Lazar
Nyla Innuksuk, Ryan Cavan
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