Movie Review: IN A VIOLENT NATURE Has Some Wicked Kills, But Is Otherwise Tedious

Meet the new slasher. However, in some ways it is similar to the old slasher, save for some ingeniously gory and brutal killings, and the perspective from which it is shot. Canadian filmmaker Chris Nash takes some story and thematic ideas from the Friday the 13 franchise, presents them in a more experimental way with mixed results. Even though I was highly entertained by insane killings, I found myself a little bored and frustrated with film’s artistic choices.

In an Ontario wilderness park, a group of teens decide to spend a weekend in a cabin so they can party, swim, and enjoy mother nature.  However, things go horribly wrong when one of the members of the group inadvertantly awakens a mute killer (Ry Barrett) that decides to take everyone out with the most extreme prejudice.  The camera mostly remains fixated right behind the killer and follows him as slowly lumbers through the wilderness, stalking and butchering the teens with lumberjack tools.

Though I can appreciate a filmmaker’s desire to be experimental with  their work, experimentation is not always guaranteed to work.  While the novelty of the long takes behind the killer and seeing the events from his perspective was captivating at first, the trick eventually grows old and tiresome.  I did feel some relief when the camera would abandon the killer to focus on his prey and their activities. However, the mix is way uneven. 

And because the film is mostly presented from the slasher’s perspective, there is not a lot of character development with the teens.  They often come across as typical teenage slasher victims in horror movies.  They drink, consume drugs, make attempts at hooking up and attempt to survive when “Johnny” attacks. 

To the movie’s benefit, the killings are the best aspect of the movie.  They are mostly brilliantly conceived and superbly executed.  The crew members responsible for the makeup and effects deserve praise for their bloody good work.  People who despise gory horror should definitely stay away.  Fans of the horror subgenre should have a blast with this aspect of the movie.

As for the tediousness of slowly following Johnny around, I suppose that is a matter of taste. As for me, I obviously did not enjoy it. In a Violent Nature opens in theaters this weekend and will be available for streaming on Shudder later on. If one loves gnarly kills in their slashers, I would recommend waiting for this movie to be available on Shudder.

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