In a Violent Nature Review

In a Violent Nature
In a Violent Nature
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With In a Violent Nature, director Chris Nash appropriates all we love about cheap ’80s slashers – practically shot, extremely gory deaths, unsettling, lingering wide shots, and horrifying masks with interesting real-world histories – just to gut the subgenre. Slasher film has its heart violently ripped out by Nash himself – zombie-like creatures who never give up.

The film’s homicidal force of nature, Johnny, was accidentally killed by lumberjacks in a prank gone wrong. Now he’s doomed to endlessly lumber (get it?) through the Canadian wilderness, killing every youth and ranger who gets in his way. If that sounds Jason Voorhees-esque, then it is because Switch the lumberjacks for irresponsible sex-crazed camp counselors and keep Johnny’s mommy fixation; you’ve got yourself Friday the 13th origination story. But this is not a movie that you watch for plot purposes. Gory as hell kills make In a Violent Nature stand out from others.

In order for practical effects in this movie to really pop out at audiences, Nash and the team needed to give their killer some iconic weapons. Johnny doesn’t disappoint: His weaponry includes an axe and a pair of drag hooks – implements used by his murderers themselves – resulting in some truly terrifying random slayings. Of all his targets, catching one individual unaware with his drag hooks exemplifies Mortal Kombat levels of carnage. (I dare you not to think “FINISH HER!” while watching this scene.) The best slashers use their kills not only for shock value but also for humor, which makes In a Violent Nature more than willing to indulge in macabre laughs. Just at one point, we see Johnny beating up someone comically too long- like minutes.

In a Violent Nature Trailer

In a Violent Nature is an example of your typical low-budget slasher that squeezes every bit possible from the limited resources available. Most of the film consists of jump cuts between medium shots trailing Johnny walking through the woods and if you’ve played killer in an asymmetrical multiplayer horror game like Death by Daylight or Friday the 13th, you know the shot. But it’s refreshing to see Nash and cinematographer Pierce Derks add to this template by using the camera to drip-feed the audience different angles of Johnny’s disfigured appearance. The reveals of Johnny are slow and deliberately paced, but that’s a good thing because there’s not much else in In a Violent Nature that can hold the audience’s attention between kills.

Once Johnny acquires a mask – it’s inspired by 19th-century firefighting gear, but looks like a cross between an old-timey deep sea diver’s helmet and a gas mask from World War I – Nash and Derks pivot to a more free-roaming camera that’s employed to capture kills from a variety of creative vantage points. A budget as small as In a Violent Nature’s doesn’t allow for a ton of camera setups, and Nash and Derks turn this potential constraint into a strength. These shots result in a haunting effect, captivating viewers with their ‘can’t look away’ nature.

A silent, undead slayer narrates the movie, and for that reason, we only hear dialogue when Johnny comes across his prey. Johnny’s past life or fragments of laughter and quarrelsomeness among young people who are unaware of their impending doom are the main topics of the small talk that pawns can pick up None of this takes away from In a Violent Nature, but it doesn’t add to it either except in terms of exposition.

However, more impactful is the high-quality sound design. Nash approached Foley’s work in In A Violent Nature differently by hiring video game Foley artists who were familiar with things like walk cycles because Johnny does a lot of walking on camera – which was a smart move. Nonetheless, it is not just that particular creative sound design: An office within the park also shows how weird and original its sound design can be when the Walkman owned by one victim continues playing well after he perishes at half-speed playback that adds another layer of chilling ambiance. Moreover, as Johny kills off all other survivors, the forest ambiance becomes loud and cacophonous – making his surroundings appear more threatening than ever before.

Read In a Violent Nature on Fmovies

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