‘In A Violent Nature’ not for the squeamish

In A Violent Nature combines art house technique with violent horror movie kills. There’s one kill that equals all the Friday the 13th and Halloween kills between 1980 and 1985 in one swell scene.


But the reason In A Violent Nature has such staying power is that it’s directed by Chris Nash like an art film with an emphasis on long takes. Natch the victims are a bunch of young adults at a cabin in the wood.


In one lengthy long shot we see the killer submerge into a lake where some foolish teens are swimming on the other side. What’s he going to do? Walk across under water? Exactly and at the moment he comes up for air under the swimmers we immediately cut to a reverse shot on the opposite side of the lake for the subsequent mayhem.


Lots of times these slasher type killers are mysterious figures with an otherworldly motive for their vengeance and it doesn’t always work. In A Violent Nature makes that conceit work.


The killer, whoever the fuck it is, emerges from under the ground as if they’d been buried alive. The object seems to be a necklace that says “mother fucker.”


The creature is relentless and director Nash seems to have been influenced by ’80s horror as much as the mise-en-scène of Ingmar Bergman and Abbas Kiarostami.


The last scene, another lengthy art house sequence, takes place in a truck where the surviving member of the youngsters has gotten a ride and it seems they will actually survive if the driver will just shut up and drive. This closing has more dread than you can imagine. It’s like a reverse sense of the terror that has come before as you wonder what’s going to happen next.


In a total tonal shift the credit roll features an obscure folk song from Tracy Newman (recorded for a PBS kid’s show in the ’60s) called “Black Fly.”

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