MAIKA (Tasiana Shirley), LEENA (Chelsea Pruksy) are two young women who, with their other friends, are just trying to understand how to act around boys and live their best Inuit lives. But when this strange phenomenon lands out on the land and then begins to take over the bodies of animals and turn them into monsters (first a bear, a ferret and an elk, and after that one of the local RCMP officers fall prey to the alien’s tentacles) the girls band together to fight back.
Slash/Back was shot on location in Pang, as it’s called by locals – a small coastal town on the Arctic Ocean. This is the first feature from Igloolik-born and Iqaluit-raised Nyla Innukshuk, a writer for Marvel Comics and VR creator, who cast mostly local actors and set up her crew in the gym of a local school for the duration of the shoot. While the movie makes its place in the sci-fi/horror/adventure genre with some legit special effects, genuine scares and top-shelf acting from its young stars, the true star of the film is the surrounding Arctic landscape, whose dramatic fjords hallucinatory mountainscapes, tundra and alpenglow show it off as quite possibly the most beautiful place in the world.
Bonus: The credits, that switch between Inuktitut and English, have an easter-egg that’s a play on the film’s title and Indigenous resurgence. Watch out for it!
In honour of the release of the first-ever Inuit horror film, we asked two of the film’s young stars to tell us – in their words – what it was like to film in Pangnirtung and walk the red carpet in Austin.