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Review: In a Violent Nature. Somniferous remedy for slasher heads

  • Release year: 2024
  • Directors: Chris Nash.
  • Producers: Shannon Hanmer and Peter Kuplowsky.
  • Screenplay by: Chris Nash.
  • Cinematography by: Pierce Derks.
  • Music supervisor: Christine Leslie.

Synopsis: cabin-in-the-woods themed horror movie from the POV of the killer.

Shotgun Commentary: there is a reason why slashers aren’t told from the POV of the bad guy. It’s a good reason, this film is proof of that.

Johnny (Ry Barrett). Source: In a Violent Nature (Chris Nash, 2024).

Review

In a Violent Nature is a fable that explains why you shouldn’t take things that aren’t yours just because they are shiny. It is the first time we see a slasher from the perspective of the killer and, we didn’t know for sure until now, but there is a great reason for that: there is nothing more boring than the killer’s perspective on a slasher.

Details matter

The film respects the rules of the slasher in terms of gruesome, creative deaths and cheap dialogues. It even has the whole “chucking the keys of the car in the forest because I’m so funny” scene, all very The Final Girls (2015). However, it goes a little too far in some aspects, and really not far enough in others.

You have this great deaths, guts and blood all over, but the premise you have set makes no sense of them. The evil zombie wants his necklace back, he knows who has it, yet he decides to kill everyone else before approaching that person?

Johnny (Ry Barrett). Source: In a Violent Nature (Chris Nash, 2024).

This issue could be saved if he just wants the current owner of the necklace to suffer before they die, but the ending completely blows up that theory. So what are we left with? Murder for the sake of murder? Sure, that works too, but then don’t bother with a backstory or a feature, just do a short with lots and deaths and call it a day, no?

The audio also gives a terrible impression. Did all the budget go to fake blood and none of it to a sound technician? Do zombies have super hearing with their decaying ears? Why does a conversation happening on the other side of a lake sound like a chat at a metre’s distance, then? That kind of error is more common in films with no budget and university projects. It is a shame to see it in a movie with enough money for such good visual effects.

Traipsing

The main problem is the walking. There is a humungous amount of walking. Cuts in film were invented for a reason. Seriously, just give your smartwatch to Johnny (Ry Barrett) the zombie, he’ll get your monthly steps in a day, no problem.

Johnny (Ry Barrett). Source: In a Violent Nature (Chris Nash, 2024).

But honestly, the repetition is a big issue in the storytelling of this feature. Half of it is walking or running through the woods, or repetitive blows to an already dead corpse. Don’t get me wrong, I love gore for the sake of gore as much as the next girl, but they manage to find the amount of blows that reaches the boring area. And then they go over that amount, by a lot.

Finally getting to see the killer’s perspective felt like a super fun idea, but then you realise that it is surprisingly underwhelming. To the point where you miss the dumb victims and their cringy behaviour. Additionally, Johnny never runs. He only walks, which is both admirable and frustrating. Between kills, you feel like you are stuck in a never-ending exploration tutorial for the video game with the most repetitive rendering in the world. Plus, the horror factor is ruined since you know where the murderer is and what he’s going to do next.

Delightful stupidity

Luckily, you have the deliciously clichéd victims to maintain your attention with the shenanigans you expect from their respective stereotypes. The blond girl says things like, “A slaughterer? Like, a murderer?”, because she’s very bright. The jock gets mad at his girlfriend for making a penis joke because he isn’t toxic at all and his self-esteem is doing great… All the things you expect from a group of teenagers in an American slasher, only weirdly cringier due to the third hand embarrassment that watching the killer’s POV provides. The experience is quite fun.

Johnny (Ry Barrett). Source: In a Violent Nature (Chris Nash, 2024).

They also do things like go to the woods alone in the middle of the night to listen to music on their headphones and not hearing a two-meter tall unit of a man approaching despite the crunching of the leaves and branches. You know, slasher victim things. Still, they do have some out-of-genre behaviour that is incredibly welcomed, like not throwing their weapon immediately after shooting, and sometimes even see the bad guy coming with enough time to run!

All in all, In a Violent Nature is a wild experience. The slowest, most repetitive storytelling in the world, with incredibly creative deaths, an ending that could have taken place 15 minutes earlier, and a final girl who is also the first to take off her clothes. Is her tomboyish looks and negative to have sex what makes her final girl material after all? Or are we in the presence of a progressive slasher? Yours are the conclusions, but do share them with me!

Advice to take from this movie:

  • The middle of the night is NOT the best time to go to the woods on your own with headphones blasting your favourite Aqua.
  • Creative killing is great, but a reason to do so is almost just as great.
  • Kill your darlings, learn when to stop rolling and where to cut out material.
  • Yes, all the images are the same guy walking. Yes, I am making a point. For further reference, consult advice #3.
Johnny (Ry Barrett). Source: In a Violent Nature (Chris Nash, 2024).

What’s your take? Have you watched In a Violent Nature? What did you think of the ending? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

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