Slash Back is the perfect film for sci-fi geek kids whose only dream is to save the world from alien invasion. A few years ago, Netflix made one of these called “Rim of the World,” which had a massive budget and followed a similar formula to Stranger Things, making the unknown the focus, but Slash Back is a film about female friendships at a young age, teenage problems, and identity crises. Most importantly, it’s an Inuit story told through Inuit kids, and that’s what makes it a really enjoyable experience.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Slash Back’?
In Pangniturang, Nunavut, a group of teenagers awaits the time when their parents will go out dancing for the summer solstice. That way, they get to hang out and do teenage things. Back in the day, Maika, as a young girl, was taught how to hunt by her father. Now, she spends her days talking about Instagram and boys. Maika finds herself hating all traditional Inuit things. She doesn’t like the art, the food, or the hunting. Even her phone has her father saved as “Dad” and not the traditional word “Ataata.” Maika has a couple of friends she hangs out with and two younger siblings. Her younger sister, Aju, always wants to hang out with the older girls, but as a teenager, Maika will not allow it. The girls decided to take Maika’s father’s boat out secretly. Aju wants to come along, but Maika doesn’t let her, so she decides to cycle around and reach them. The girls are having a fun time until Aju arrives, and they find a bear somewhere close by at the same time. The bear looks like it’s going mad (a little bit like the one that had cocaine), and when the girls zoom in with their phones, they notice it’s coming closer to them. Uki, one of the girls, takes dares very seriously and assumes she’s the best shot there. Taking Maika’s rifle, she shoots the bear, but it only makes the bear angrier, and it runs towards Aju, who is frozen. As the bear is about to take a large bite of Aju, Maika shoots it, but the girls realize that there is something grossly wrong with the bear.
Quickly, they take Aju back home, and the parents are ready to go to the dance. In the meantime, because they had this story to tell, the young heartthrob of Pang, Thomassie, invited Maika and her friends to his house for a party in the evening. Of course, the younger kids get left behind in Maika’s house while the older ones head to the guy’s house. Uki decides to go back to see what may have caused the bear to go mad. She thinks a traditional Inuk mythological creature is behind what happened, but to her shock, she notices one of the townspeople is also behaving the way the bear was. As she looks into it further, she notices a big alien blood-sucking creature. Before she can look further, a bear cub attacks her, and she slits its throat. She rushes back to Pang, where she gatecrashes the party. Uki tells everybody what she saw, and Maika is not having any of it. She’s already said she doesn’t like country food or the fish paintings in their house. Maika is so busy trying to be the popular young girl that she insults her friend Uki, calling her fatherless and saying some other nasty things. She thinks Uki is making up the story to get attention. Fortunately for Uki, but big whoops for everyone there, the officer who was taken by the alien is at the house with tentacles coming out of his face. He chases only Uki, though, and Maika is able to save her. They realize it was the black alien blood that made the alien go for Uki and nobody else. They quickly realize Aju is also in danger and rush to Maika’s home. The townsperson that Uki had found is the one who has reached the house, and Maika reaches just in time to save the younger kids.
Maika decides to use her jacket as bait and sends the rest of the girls and the kids to a crate that they’ll be safe in. She gets chased by the guy and finally meets them at the crate. She’s had enough time to observe the alien’s patterns at this point. They try to reach adults, but nobody’s picking up because they’re all at the dance. They call the police, and their favorite officer comes to their rescue, but she gets dragged by the aliens. Now the kids have no option but to step out and save themselves and all of Pang.
‘Slash Back’ Ending Explained – Will Maika Realize That Her Inuit Culture Can Save Them?
Taking matters into their own hands, Maika, Uki, and Jesse decide to step out while Leena stays back with the younger ones. Maika and Uki finally come to terms with each other, accepting their own mistakes. Maika realizes she’s been horrible to Uki and apologizes. They head to Maika’s home and collect the weapons they need. The final step is to paint their faces with kohl in a traditional Pang way. Teamwork makes the dream work. Hilariously, in the middle of trying to kill blood-sucking aliens, Jesse confronts Maika about her crush on Thomassie. Jesse has always had feelings for him, and Maika tells her that there is no way she likes the guy. Jesse believes her, while Uki figures out how she can show off her bravery and kill a second alien. Jesse names the aliens “Skins” because they wear the skins of people or animals until they come close and bring out their tentacles. They try to trap the police officer Skin with a net, but instead, Jesse gets pulled into the net with him until Uki kills him, or rather, it.
Thomassie arrives on his Honda, and Maika has a strong plan to get the last Skin. Uki says she will be the bait because she thinks she has caused this whole mess since she shot at the bear first. In actuality, the aliens would’ve shown up in Pang anyway. Maika agrees with Uki and sends Jesse with Thomassie so they can bond a little. In the meantime, Uki gets bored and tries to look inside the skin head she had cut off, and all she can see are tentacles. That’s when the other alien showed up behind her. They have set up a trap for the alien, so it gets tied to the Honda, and Thomassie can drive away. The alien bites off the rope, though, and chases Uki until she’s stuck trying to get out of a small hole in the wall of a crate. The alien grabs her foot while Jesse and Maika desperately try to get her out. She’s unconscious at first, and they think she’s dead until she coughs awake. Uki tells Maika to go after the alien and that she’ll be fine. Jesse and Maika go together because “friends must stick together” (especially when fighting monstrous aliens). They go to Maika’s house, and Maika’s dad is home. She’s about to explain what’s happening to him when the alien arrives. The alien grabs her dad, and Maika yells at him to slash his throat. Maika’s dad is known in the town as the best hunter, so he uses his presence of mind to bite the alien tentacle because he has no other weapon. He narrowly escapes and picks up the knife that belonged to Maika’s grandfather. She unsheaths it from his hand and slits the throat of the alien. They head back to Leena and the younger kids, and together they all watch the “meat ship” depart.
After a month, Maika and her dad are running a food business that is very successful, but news reporters from the mainland keep troubling them. Uki helps her friend out and tells the reporter it was she who killed the aliens.
Slash Back ends with the father-daughter duo hunting together again. It is an adorable reminder of why one should embrace their roots rather than shove them away. It also explores the simple predicaments of the lives of young kids in Indigenous societies who are struggling to find their voices in the middle of the ways of the contemporary world and their ancestral lives, all with the massive threat of an alien meat ship. In the end, Maika learns to balance out what she likes about Inuit culture and the world beyond it.