One hundred and ten years ago, the first American horror film was created in a cinematic interpretation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” which was made at Thomas Edison’s studios in the Bronx. This year, a digital community of horror film addicts is celebrating the first-year anniversary of Slasher, an app designed to unite fans of the cinematic endeavors designed to scare the you-know-what out of you.
Slasher is the creation of White Plains-based Damon Della Greca, the founder of Premier Audio Video Designs, a home theater installation firm. Della Greca, a horror movie addict and a longtime presence at the conventions devoted to the genre, stated that he created the app when he began to have difficulty connecting to like-minded movie buffs.
“I was having a hard time finding them without really searching,” he said. “I ended trying to figure out ways to improve on that. And I created a shared calendar with some of my friends and anyone who’s interested in having access to it could. And basically, it was just a list of every convention in the country at the time.”
But rather than offer an online calendar of horror movie gatherings, Della Greca began to find “more and more things that could be improved upon.” As a result, the Slasher app was created to keep horror movie fans updated on all activities related to their beloved genre.
“The main thing that you would notice is the timeline, which is similar to your mainstream social networks like a Facebook or Instagram,” said Della Greca regarding the Slasher app. “People are posting their thoughts, sharing photos, sharing information, talking about stuff that they’ve made or that they’re looking to sell or whatever, and sharing what movie they watched. You’d see a movies section with a mainstream area that has over 10,000 horror movies in a database, which is similar to an IMDb or Letterboxd, where you can check out information about movies, watch trailers, add them to different lists.
“There’s an events calendar with tons and tons of conventions, film festivals, gaming nights, all different kinds of things,” he said. “There’s a dating section for people who are looking for like-minded love.”
Della Greca is reticent in stating how many people are currently tapping into Slasher since its May 2019 launch, only admitting that the total is now “nicely into five digits.” He has used social media and word of mouth to build awareness of the app, along with occasional media interest.
“For example, Rue Morgue, just published a really fantastic article,” he said, adding that horror filmmakers, writer and podcasters “seem to have been enjoying it because they’re talking about what they’re doing and people are listening. They’ve been building up some of their fan bases and an interest in their work, which has been phenomenal.”
Della Greca also praised horror film addicts for supporting his work, observing they seem to bring more enthusiasm to their cinematic passion than fans of other genres.
“This audience is so passionate,” he said, noting that many like-minded souls share his enthusiasm for this slice of the celluloid experience. “It helps me to deal with anxiety and things like that. It was always a terrific escape. It was some of the stories and the special effects are just fantastic for the imagination that it provides what people need at a certain time.”
At the moment, Slasher is a labor of love rather than a source of revenue. But going forward, Della Greca stated his goal for the app was to “bring the horror community closer together so that people can find one another far more easily. So far, it’s doing a fairly decent job of that. The other thing is providing a springboard for the independent creators out there the filmmakers, the authors, artists, the podcasters and musicians, all those people who just need a chance to be in front of people to be seen and to be given a shot.”