In A Violent Nature | Review by: Benjamin Garrett

 Slashers have always thrust us into the shoes of the victims. Watching the story unfold from the good guys’ point of view is a tried and true method of building tension and delivering thrills. In A Violent Nature challenges genre conventions by simply swapping the audience’s perspective. This experimental approach shakes things up, and for the most part it pays off. 

What makes this film so unique is how it approaches its very ordinary structure. If we spent the entire time following the victims, what we’d end up with is a pretty run of the mill slasher experience. All of the typical narrative beats and many of the cliches we’ve come to expect from the genre are present, but they play out sporadically in the background. We aren’t privy to every bit of the victims’ story, but because the movie adheres to familiar slasher formula, we’re able to easily fill in those narrative gaps. One of my favourite moments was when the film made the audience feel like we were stepping into a legacy sequel, deepening the lore and history of the killer. 

A major draw of a movie like this is the tension. Because we know where the killer is during almost every encounter, it does strip the film of some of that anxious anticipation. There’s A LOT of just watching him slowly trodding through the forest, which will definitely test viewers’ patience. It’s beautifully shot, and the foley artists went to town with the ambient sound design, but it comes dangerously close to being flat out boring sometimes. A common slasher complaint is how the killer seemingly teleports from point A to B in an unrealistically short amount of time, but this movie has the opposite problem, with how damn slow he moves. 

The other big draw is the violence, and oh my god, does this movie ever make good on its title. The kills are some of the gnarliest in the genre, utilizing impressive and ultra gruesome practical effects. I’ve watched so many slasher movies that I rarely see something that truly shocks me, but this managed to do so a few times. One kill in particular had my jaw on the floor, and in all my years of watching horror movies, I’ve never seen anything like it. This is not a movie for squeamish viewers. 

In a Violent Nature breaks a fundamental rule of the genre, resulting in one of the most unique slashers I’ve ever seen. It tested my patience with its methodically slow pacing, but the handful of relentlessly brutal payoffs were absolutely worth it. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett 

Popular Posts