If ever there was a town just waiting to be in a slasher movie it Proofrock Idaho. It’s got an eerie history already. An abandoned summer camp where four kids died bloody and mysterious. An urban legend about a lake witch, oh and that lake is built upon the remnants of a whole other town. Drowned in the name of progress with the buildings still waiting down there under that deep, cold water. It’s the perfect setting for some horror. Not just the mundane stuff either but the kind of bloodbath that would make John Carpenter weep at it’s dreadful beauty.
Jade knows this. Has known it since she dug her first slasher movie out of the bargain bin at a gas station when she was 11. She’s been studying ever since. A thing that she understands, how could she not? Is that slashers aren’t born. They’re made. What are these monsters but misfits tormented and abandoned and wronged so egregiously that they have no choice but to don the mask, pick up whatever sharp object is laying around and get to work? The universe demands it.
And so Jade has been doing her murder homework, just waiting for the glorious day that the slasher will come and wipe this shithole town clean. If only they show up before she graduates and vacates to greener pastures. The thought keeps her going. A girl’s got to believe in something. So Jade believes in Michael Myers, in Leatherface, in Billy Loomis.
When the bodies start to fall she can hardly believe her luck. Who is this dark angel come to baptize the town in blood and viscera? Is her slasher dream coming to life? The sheriff doesn’t think so. Nobody believes her. They’re all yakking about freak accidents and figments of her imagination, And maybe Jade’s crazy-hell, she knows she’s crazy. Jade is what the town made her after all. But. She’s also right. Isn’t she? She is! She knows it when she meets the girl of her dreams. The Final Girl.
See, another rule of slashers is that while the misfit deserves revenge they do tend to get out of hand. Some sort of monster hubris kicks in and after they off the dixkholes who drowned them, burned them, left them for dead, they start killing for the smallest little things. So high on their own rage that some rando gets an icepick to the skull just for jaywalking. And the universe can’t leave that kind of energy unchecked. Enter the Final Girl. As pure as the slasher is broken. She’s the only one with the juice to end the cycle.
And let’s face it, Jade is no Final Girl. She’s no slasher either. Oh, she’s been failed by every person she should have been able to trust. Everyone who should have kept her safe. But she doesn’t have the stomach for disemboweling. She’s not special enough to be at either side of the cycle. Instead Jade is the deserted bunk at Camp Blood. The old newspaper filling in the gaps in the story, the woods the slasher roams through.
And oh! What a story it is. Until. Well, until it’s more than just a story. until the innocent people start getting turned to pulp in the path of all that revenge. And then maybe. Just maybe. Jade realizes that she might be part of the story after all.
Sounds good right? It absolutely is! And it’s such a perfect read for October. Do yourself a favor and check out My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones. Sydney Prescott would want you to.