In a Violent Nature (2024) Movie Review - Awesome Slasher With a Twist

Horror, Slasher | 94 Min
Cover from Shudder Original Slasher Movie In a Violent Nature 2024)
  • Director: Chris Nash
  • Actors: Ry Barrett, Andrea Pavlovic, Cameron Love, Reece Presley, Liam Leone, Charlotte Creaghan, Lea Rose Sebastianis, Sam Roulston, Alexander Oliver, Timothy Paul McCarthy, Lauren Taylor
  • Writers: Chris Nash
  • Producers: Shannon Hanmer, Peter Kuplowsky
  • Country: Canada
  • Language: English
  • Parental: Violence, Gore, Language, Drugs
  • Horror, Slasher | 94 Min

When a locket is removed from a collapsed fire tower in the woods that entombs the rotting corpse of Johnny a vengeful spirit spurred on by a horrific 60-year old crime his body is resurrected and becomes hellbent on retrieving it.

Welcome to Knockout Horror. Today we are reviewing Shudder Original slasher movie In a Violent Nature from 2024. To be perfectly honest, when it comes to horror movies, I kind of stay out of the loop. Not because I’m not interested in what is coming up or what certain directors are lining up next. It’s more so I can head into movies with a clean slate, not entirely knowing what to expect. 

That’s been the case with most of the movies I have been reviewing lately but I can’t say that any have surprised me a great deal. That was until I watched In a Violent Nature. Full disclosure, I had no idea what this movie was about, what sub-genre it fell into or what type of horror it was. I went in completely blind and I’m grateful that I did. This is a movie that legitimately surprised me.

Before we take a look at the movie. If you have already watched In a Violent Nature and are looking for some more clarity on what happened and who the characters were. Why not check out our In a Violent Nature Ending Explained article? Be warned, it contains spoilers, unlike this review. 

A Different Kind of Slasher

In a Violent Nature is a fairly simple movie. It follows undead killer Johnny (Ry Barrett) as he goes on a rampage to recover a locket that was taken from his resting site. An unsuspecting group of campers fall into possession of the locket and find themselves in a fight for survival.

A screenshot from Shudder Original Slasher Movie In a Violent Nature 2024)

The best way to think of this movie is as a retro 80’s slasher movie. Complete with hideously disfigured psycho killer, campers partying and sharing scary stories around a fire, and brutal kills galore. But told from the perspective of the killer rather than the victims. 

It’s a super interesting take on a very old fashioned formula. We are so used to seeing these types of movies through the eyes of the victims. With the camera almost playing a part in the partying and debauchery. We only ever see fleeting glimpses of the killers and it is only when the story absolutely demands it. In a Violent Nature is the complete opposite.

A New Perspective

This is a totally different way of looking at the slasher genre. Instead of fleeting glimpses of the killer. It is the victims themselves that we only catch fleeting glimpses of. Everything is seen from the killer’s perspective. If a conversation between characters happens, we only hear it because our killer is within spitting distance of the participants. It’s such an obvious approach to slashers but it feels so fresh and unique.

A screenshot from Shudder Original Slasher Movie In a Violent Nature 2024)

Instead of being subjected to all of the annoying interactions between characters that you would expect in a movie like this. We only catch mostly irrelevant bits of inane chatter. Nothing is all that important and none of it matters all that much. We are only here to watch Johnny ruthlessly butcher people.

We almost never leave his side and, for the most part, we follow right behind him for each and every step of his rampage. Director Chris Nash clearly had a desire to turn the slasher movie on its head. Nash plays with genre tropes the way Johnny plays with his victims. It’s a fascinating approach.

Turning Tropes Upside Down

So many of the silly little occurrences that are so common in slasher movies are explained away here or turned on their head. How does the killer always know what to expect? In a Violent Nature explains it. Why does the killer do what he does? In a Violent Nature tells you why. Sure, many of these explanations and reasons don’t make a whole lot of sense. But it is fun to see how Nash takes these worn out tropes and turns them upside down.

Hell, the closing stanza of the movie, complete with cameo from Friday the 13th Part 2’s Lauren Taylor, even offers an explanation for the animalistic nature of slasher villains. It’s fun stuff and Nash has a great time constantly poking the genre trope bear. It’s all in good fun, though. He manages to do this without ever showing any form of disrespect to the genre.

A screenshot from Shudder Original Slasher Movie In a Violent Nature 2024)

This is a love letter to 80’s slashers. Sure, it might have a witty comment reminding the genre of its thinning hair, laugh lines and crow’s feet jotted down in there somewhere. But it is as much a tribute to the slasher as it is a restructuring of it. In a Violent Nature feels like the freshest take on the genre in a very long time. 

A Few Inherent Issues

Naturally, the format itself is going to come with a few problems. Problems which actually make the movie tough to rate. I enjoyed In a Violent Nature enough to slap it with a 4/5 and be done with it. But that’s not really the truth of the matter. There are some inherent issues with this format that will put a lot of people off.

The most glaring of which is the fact that we are following an emotionless killer hell bent on murder. What does said killer spend the majority of their time doing? Finding victims, of course. We spend a good 30 minutes, or so, of In a Violent Nature simply following Johnny as he slowly stomps over grass land looking for victims. It’s slow stuff and absolutely destined to put a lot of people off.

A screenshot from Shudder Original Slasher Movie In a Violent Nature 2024)

People’s attention spans, nowadays, are thinner than ever. In a world of TikTok style instant gratification. Asking young people to follow along with a meandering, voiceless, killer is a big ask. Especially for 90+ minutes. Some people are going to be bored to tears and the cool kills and tiny bit of story are not going to be enough to make up for that. Something which is worth considering if you are thinking of watching In a Violent Nature.

Technically Impressive

I can’t end this review without mentioning the fantastic camera work and direction. This movie is a joy to behold. Filmed in a 4:3 aspect ratio for that “true to the genre” 80’s look. Nash indulges in long, drawn out, single take shots. Pulling the viewer along as a walking companion with Johnny as he goes on his rampage. It’s fantastic stuff and way more compelling than anything like this should be.

Pierce Derks’ cinematography is excellent. Keeping a steady focus on our killer while managing to seamlessly capture the verticality of the woods and surrounding scenery. Daylight shots are particularly whimsical with the sun permitted to do its work with regards to the lighting; adding a dreamlike haze to every scene. This is a gorgeous movie and there was barely a foot set wrong with the presentation.

A screenshot from Shudder Original Slasher Movie In a Violent Nature 2024)

Practical effects are some of the best I have seen in awhile. Kills are brutal, uncomfortable and wildly original in a genre that is absolutely done to death. Some of the most grizzly and barbaric I have ever seen. One kill, in particular, is horrifying in a way that really hasn’t been done before in the slasher genre. Amazing stuff; the blood and guts don’t stop coming. Something that is rather a surprise given the movie’s initial offscreen deaths. 

Acting is probably the weakest point in the movie. Lea Sebastianis, as Brodie, immediately comes to mind for the strange, drawn out, inflection she uses at the end of every sentence. She isn’t terrible but her delivery is distracting. Sam Roulston’s, as Ehren, nasally delivery also stood out for being particularly difficult to understand. I didn’t catch 90% of his campfire story. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Should You Watch In a Violent Nature?

If you are a fan of slasher movies, amazing practical effects and gory kills, then you should definitely watch In a Violent Nature. It is one of the most original slasher movies in years and tons of fun. Effects are incredible, kills are some of the most interesting I have seen in a long time and the way Nash turns the genre completely on its head is ultra refreshing.

Some people will hate this movie for what it is. Most of the time is spent following a slow moving killer as he walks from victim to victim. Something which will drive some people crazy. Despite this, I loved it. If you are looking for a completely different kind of slasher, however, you need to check out In a Violent Nature.

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