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Review: In a Violent Nature (2024)

In a Violent Nature (2024)

Directed by: Chris Nash

Premise: A locket is removed from the gravesite of a supernatural murderer who rises from the grave to kill again.

What Works: In a Violent Nature is terrifically shot by cinematographer Pierce Derks. It has the picturesque quality of a nature documentary and the cinematic beauty makes an interesting contrast with the film’s brutal violence. The camera movement, use of focus, and framing of the action is all top-level work. What’s especially impressive about In a Violent Nature’s cinematography is the command of dark scenes. So often in contemporary films, darkly lit scenes are murky and incomprehensible. The filmmakers of In a Violent Nature create images that are indeed dark but the action is lit in a way that is easy on the eye and keeps the action and the characters decipherable. In a Violent Nature is a slasher film and the attraction of this genre is often its gore. The visual effects of In a Violent Nature are impressive. There is a particular kill with a large rock that appears to be accomplished practically and in a single shot; this sequence will have fans struggling to figure out how it was done.

What Doesn’t: In a Violent Nature is very obviously inspired by the slasher films of the 1980s and in particular the Friday the 13th series. However, In a Violent Nature lacks a lot of what made those film so popular. The kills were central to the appeal of the genre but they weren’t everything. The best of these movies, such as the original Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, were about a group of people hunted by a killer. The pleasure is in the terror with the kills and gore as a punctuation. In a Violent Nature turns the slasher film inside out by foregrounding the killer and pushing the victims into the background. The problem is that the killer of In a Violent Nature is not interesting and the victims lack an identity. They’re anonymous people who cross paths with the killer and die. Without any humanistic component, the gore means nothing. That may be the point. As hinted by its title, In a Violent Nature dramatizes the amoral disposition of the wilderness. But the filmmakers don’t do anything interesting with that idea. Even if the gratuity of the violence is the point, it’s presentation here makes for a movie that is really boring.

Bottom Line: In a Violent Nature is very well crafted but ultimately hollow. The filmmakers clearly have a point to make but there’s not enough to that idea to sustain interest. In a Violent Nature may have been better as a short than as a feature film.

Episode: #999 (June 9, 2024)