[General spoilers ahead.]
We’ve been all in on Slasher since it began its run in 2016. Now, seven years, four seasons, and a few networks later, the series is back for its fifth season Thursday night on Hollywood Suite in Canada and Shudder and AMC+ in the US.
This time around, the show throws it way, way back to the turn of the last century for a horror yarn that spins off the serial killer lore of Jack the Ripper relocated to Toronto. But rather than focus on the titular Jack, the eight episodes instead focus on another killer, The Widow, who’s working her way down a hit list that’s a terrific who’s who of returning cast members and some key newbies.
The action swirls around Basil Garvey (Eric McCormack), a nasty AF tycoon who alternately charms and menaces everyone around him and has a hand in both legitimate and shady businesses across the city. The foil for Garvey and The Widow is Detective Kenneth Rijkers (Gabriel Darku), who is firmly on the side of right and not afraid to put himself in harm’s way to defend it.
It’s a delightfully bonkers ride crafted under returning mad scientist showrunners (and secretly sweet) Aaron Martin and Ian Carpenter and director Adam MacDonald, and for the folks who do love their gore, the show delivers again and again. The rest of the cast for the eight-episode season includes:
Georges Rondeau (Thom Allison)
Allison returns after a wink-nod mic drop cameo in S4 and is terrific as a sketchy magician who dabbles in the dark arts and gets more than he bargained for from misguided alliances.
Salomé (Salvatore Antonio)
In his second appearance in the franchise, Antonio’s Salomé is a sex worker who made it off the streets and into a brothel and is moving up the ladder of the business.
Alistair Simcoe (Shaun Benson)
Alistair in another nasty piece of work as a sadist wandering the streets at night.
Dr. Melanda Israel (Lisa Berry)
A rare female physician and medical examiner, Dr. Israel isn’t above a little rule-bending in the interest of science.
Viviana Botticelli (Paula Brancati)
So many sadists, so little time. In her fifth franchise outing, Brancati just gleeflully goes for it as a down-on-her-luck heiress with a wicked streak.
Horatio Dixon (Jefferson Brown)
Another fifth-timer, Brown is a kind-hearted pimp of the sex workers on the street, dedicated to keeping the women safe.
Andrew May Jr. (Steve Byers)
Our OG Slasher killer is FINALLY back, this time as a man of God trying to find light in the dark for himself and everyone around him
Margaret Mehar (Genevieve Degraves)
Former sex worker Margaret has a history with Basil that he’d rather people not know about.
Venetia Botticelli (Sabrina Grdevich)
Third-timer Grdevich is Viviana’s less, but not by much, aggressive sister.
Terrence Crenshaw (Christopher Jacot)
Returning for the fourth time, Jacot’s Terrence owns a brothel and public house that’s a respite for sex workers who’ve moved off the street.
Superintendent Isaac Kashtinsky (Daniel Kash)
Kash has way too much fun as an increasingly coked out police superintendent who’s terrified of being held accountable for past misdeeds.
Verdi Botticelli (Sadie Laflamme-Snow)
Franchise newcomer Laflamme-Snow’s Verdi is a new arrival in town who finds herself dropped squarely in a viper’s den with her half-sisters.
Gladys (Sharron Matthews)
Quietly observant, Gladys is Garvey’s housekeeper, who knows exactly who she works for.
Regina Simcoe (Clare McConnell)
As Alistair’s wife, Regina chooses what to acknowledge and ignore about her husband’s proclivities.
Shanika (Mercedes Morris)
Second-timer Morris is Shanika, Rondeau’s right hand and better self.
Eddie Jacobs (Brandon Oakes)
Jacobs is Garvey’s muscle and secret keeper who has as much to lose as Garvey if confidences are betrayed.
Daisy Zywiecki (Nataliya Rodina)
Second-timer Rodina is a young sex worker as defensive of Horatio as he is of her.
Andrew May Sr. (Rob Stewart)
Yes, you read that right, Stewart and Byers are father and son again, albeit with less murderous consequences than in S1, sort of. As you can see from the still photo above, Daddy May, also a man of God (again) is having a bit of a day.
Enid Jenkins (Jo Vannicola)
Vannicola is back for the fifth time, and here plays a journalist (or muckraker, take your pick) who shapes the public narrative about guilt and innocence.
Slasher: Ripper premieres with the first two episodes next Thursday, April 6th, at 9 pm ET on Hollywood Suite and then on demand on April 8th in Canada and streaming on Shudder and AMC+ at 3:01 am ET in the U.S. You can catch last season’s Flesh and Blood on those outlets, too. The first three seasons of Slasher are still on Netflix. Here’s a sneak peek of Ripper.
Photos and video courtesy of AMC Networks.