Monday, April 5, 2021

Violation Review: A Beautiful and Brutal Horror Film That Is Not Easily Disposed Of

Madeleine Sims-Fewer	...	Miriam Anna Maguire	Anna Maguire	...	Greta Jesse LaVercombe	Jesse LaVercombe	...	Dylan Obi Abili	Obi Abili	...	Caleb Jasmin Geljo	Jasmin Geljo	...	Ivan Cynthia Ashperger	Cynthia Ashperger	...	Jelena

Release date: March 25, 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Starring: Madeleine Sims-Fewer, Anna Maguire, Jesse LaVercombe
Written and Directed By: Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli

With her marriage on the verge of collapse, Miriam (Madeleine Sims-Fewer) returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister and brother-in-law after years apart. In one evening, a small slip in judgment leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked, reeling and furious. She embarks on an extreme course of action to address the situation, but the price of revenge is high and she is not prepared for the toll it takes as she begins to emotionally and psychologically unravel. 

Produced by  Fran├žois Dagenais	...	executive producer David Hamilton	...	executive producer David M. James	...	executive producer Dusty Mancinelli	...	producer Deepa Mehta	...	executive producer Matthew Nayman	...	executive producer Madeleine Sims-Fewer	...	producer Becky Yeboah	...	line producer (as Rebecca Yeboah)Music by
Violation has an amazing opening that sets an otherworldly, surreal tone.  I loved the dark nature shots, the haunting opera music, and the cinematic feel of this film.  And when we are introduced to the cast of characters, they were also a lot of fun to see.  They were entertaining main characters that seemed to have a familiarity and comfort with each other that showed on screen.  And once this gets a little deeper, you see the relationships get deeper and little conflicts that occur show their faces.  It put some of the earlier scenes in context and made sure to keep you engaged and curious about this group.  There were interesting power dynamics at the start as members in the group tried to subtly one up each other, and this hinted that there was something more going on in their relationships.  

The Violation is an absolutely beautiful film, with a strong, dark color palette and some amazing cinematography.  Some of my favorite scenes were surreal nature scenes, showing an unraveling or unnatural landscape or close ups to nature that give you a hint of what is going on.  And accompanying this is a full, grandiose score.  Classical music, opera vocals, all contribute to your sense that this situation is much more than a simple family reunion.  And when the movie moves to the next phase, it shows that there is much more going on than meets the eye.

Much will be said about the later part of the film and the extreme scenes depicted.  This film is not for the faint of heart, and goes to some dark and detailed places that I did not expect it to go to.  And although these later scenes were brutal and appeared to be accurate, with shots that linger longer than expected to emphasize the gravity of what is happening, there was an illogical leap that had to happen for these scenes.  It seems like the gravity escalated very quickly.  Now there was a terrible violation that occurred, but the reaction seemed to be at a higher magnitude than I expected.  It almost felt like there should have been some more groundwork laid before this happened.  Some of this was because the story is told out of order, but even after everything was revealed, it felt like the reaction was an extreme escalation from the violation.  However, Violation does a great job of tying aspects together and of bringing subtle hints that occurred earlier in the film full circle.  And those that have a true crime or other interest will appreciate the film's level of detail.  

Violation is some parts absolutely beautiful and other parts intense, with an accuracy and brutality rarely seen in film.

Watch it.

Directed by  Dusty Mancinelli	 Madeleine Sims-Fewer	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Dusty Mancinelli	 Madeleine Sims-Fewer

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Violation is available to stream on Shudder starting March 25, 2021. 

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