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  • Rev Horror

In a Violent Nature

Dir. Chris Nash (2024)

An undead monster stalks college students on a camping trip.

I'm a fan of slasher films, if that wasn't already obvious, and one of my favorite things about them is that they don't have to be good to be entertaining. In fact, sometimes the best slasher films are the ones that don't break any new ground but just have some dumb, mindless fun with a few good kills along the way. When they are good, however, it's all the better, and while that's very rare that a slasher reaches that level, today's film most certainly does. In a Violent Nature is a film that I've been looking forward to since I heard it announced, and I managed to avoid all spoilers, including watching any trailers, before checking it out last night. For those afraid that the film won't live up to expectations, let me ease your mind: In a Violent Nature is the most inventive slasher film in at least a decade, and it has some of the gnarliest kills I have ever seen.

Following the journey of a slasher villain from his perspective, the film shows Johnny (Ry Barrett) as he stalks a group of college kids who have stolen a necklace that belonged to his sister. Rising from the grave, Johnny is an unstoppable killing machine, moving slowly like all the best villains do as he hunts down the kids while killing them in as brutal a way as you can imagine. The victims must find a way to banish their attacker before he can murder every last one of them in his pursuit to get back his family heirloom.

In a Violent Nature is exactly that, an ultra-violent flick that is everything you love about the slasher genre from a unique perspective. It's an experimental love letter to the slashers of the 80's that presents things in a new, second-person point-of-view, and it is phenomenally well done. It's tongue-in-cheek to a certain extent, and while it doesn't really take itself seriously, it's also deathly serious. The film doesn't contain a score at all, focusing instead on the sounds of nature and the screams of the victims. In fact, all of the narrative of the film, including the backstory of the killer, is told through overheard conversations from the people he is tormenting, an interesting addition to a film that is already wildly different from anything else you've ever seen.

I'm not going to spoil very much of the film, because this is a film that you will most undoubtably already be excited for, but suffice to say that you absolutely should be. These kills are unreal, a handful of absolutely brutal slayings that are all fantastic and gory-as-hell. There's one kill in particular that is the kill of the year, perhaps even the decade, a jaw-dropping celebration of violence that literally left me in awe. I don't know that I've ever had my jaw dropped quite like this, and even if the rest of the movie was terrible (it isn't), this kill alone would make the movie a must-see. I heard it was an all-timer, and that's exactly right: this is a kill that will go in every YouTube video celebrating the genre in perpetuity.

The film is a little slow, the consequence of following someone who is lurking in the shadows for the vast majority of the film. The cinematography more than makes up for it, however, as every shot of the killer is unnerving and intricate. One kill is shot through an overhead look that is expertly crafted, and the entire film contains some of the best camerawork I've ever seen. The ending leaves a little to be desired, feeling a bit anti-climactic after the preceding hour and a half, but it leaves open the possibility that there will be more of this, and I'm all fucking for it. While In a Violent Nature does follow some of the genre tropes, it bucks it when it needs to, including its relatively slow finale.

It's rare that a film like this lives up to expectations, and I'm happy to report that this one certainly does. A first-of-its-kind slow-burn slasher, In a Violent Nature is a triumph of rampaging cruelty that still somehow feels deserved. It has a lot in common with some of the movies you know and love, and yet feels entirely different and unique at the same time. With hints of films like Hatchet while feeling like a behind-the-scenes Friday the 13th, In a Violent Nature is an unforgettable experience that needs to be seen to be believed. Something tells me you were gonna watch it anyway, as its basically the hottest horror film in the world right now, but if you were doubting it, don't. It's a stellar film, and it's not one you're going to want to miss.

Who this movie is for: 80's slasher fans, Violent horror lovers, Cliff yoga fanatics

Bottom line: In a Violent Nature is the hottest film in the world right now for a reason, and it's the craziest film I've seen in years. While it drags a little due to the nature of the film, it contains more than enough senseless violence to make any horror fan happy, including one kill that is truly an "all-timer". It's a cacophony of mayhem with meandering stillness in between, and it's a ride worth taking. If you get the chance to see this one in theaters, I definitely recommend you do so. Regardless of how you get the chance to watch it, it's one you don't want to sleep on. See it before its spoiled in theaters 5/31 or on Shudder later this year.

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