When I first heard about In a Violent Nature, there was already a buzz surrounding this savvy serial killer slasher. This film would do what its predecessors haven’t: immerse viewers in the narrative from a unique perspective – the killer’s. Instead of seeing the movie through the lens of hapless young people about to lose their lives in imaginative and gory ways, we get to stroll through the woods with the slasher himself, seeing and hearing what he takes in.

I was thoroughly excited about this movie, and if you know me, you know I don’t like to read reviews before I see a film. I like to form my own opinion and will usually watch and read reviews after I have seen a movie and made my own decisions about whether I liked it or not. The only thing I heard about this movie was the basic plot and that it had a super crazy kill that rivaled anything we’ve seen in the Terrifier films, which, as a huge fan of those movies, was more than enough to pique my interest.

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Enjoy the Silence…?

Let me preface this by saying I believe my experience would have been different had I been in a crowded theater, surrounded by laughing, screaming moviegoers, which is one of the most fun ways to watch a horror movie. But due to time constraints, I found myself completely alone in a quiet theater at a 10 a.m. showing, hordes of kids one auditorium over watching Shrek. Not the most ideal way to screen a slasher!

But, that didn’t diminish my excitement. The first thing I noticed about this movie, which is glaringly obvious, is there’s not a score to speak of. No screeching violins warning of impending doom, no jungle drumbeat leading up to a group of teens getting offed. Silence. That takes some getting used to in itself.

Classic Slasher Plotline That (Sometimes) Works

In a Violent Nature cast

The story is simple and fairly formulaic: a group of young people camping in the woods unknowingly disturb the killer’s sacred spot by snatching a meaningful trinket, accidentally waking the murderer from a decades-long slumber. That’s really about it. It’s not super complicated. I liked the killer’s backstory just fine; it set up the story nicely.

The killer himself, known to locals as “Johnny” (Ry Barrett) stomps through the woods hacking everyone in his line of vision. I know that I am sometimes an overthinker, but I have no problem suspending disbelief in horror films. Ahem. Usually.

I had a real big problem with this 6-foot-tall, built-like-a-football-player Johnny creeping up on ANYONE without them hearing so much as the crunch of grass, not to mention getting right up in people’s faces before they knew he was there. That became so distracting for me I had a hard time getting in the right frame of mind for the kills! I feel this is where a score would have better served me, because the silence in and of itself was a massive distraction.

There’s One Kill That Makes In a Violent Nature Worth Watching (No Spoilers)

In a Violent Nature Ry Barrett slasher

Now for the good stuff: the kills! The ‘crazy kill’ I had heard about was indeed, crazy. It absolutely matched the ridiculousness of some of the kills from Terrifier, but this killer lacks the personality of Art the Clown, giving us more Jason vibes with his strong, silent approach (and props to the costumers – I really liked Johnny’s mask and overall look). During this kill I did what I always do when watching insane kills – I cracked up laughing!

The ticket price was worth just that one kill. The other kill sequences are fun, but not as insane and over-the-top as the ONE kill everyone was talking about in the later reviews I read.

Borderline Boring but at Least It Was Original

In a Violent Nature Johnny mask

Things I didn’t like about this movie: it’s SLOW. I mean, nothing happens for a good half hour to 45 minutes (I wasn’t keeping track of time, but it was quite a while) and I didn’t really feel that tense feeling you sometimes get in super scary films. I may have become a bit bored if I hadn’t been at the cinema and had just been viewing at home.

I also didn’t like the silence. I couldn’t believe nobody could hear that lumbering killer coming when there are branches, leaves, and grass everywhere.

What did I like? The kills are fun, the story is fresh, and the actors/characters are likeable enough. I didn’t really get super into caring about whether they lived or died since we didn’t get to know them that well, so that’s definitely a downer. They weren’t very sympathetic, but the actors are good and fun to watch.

I liked that it was different, which is always welcome in a genre that tends to replay, repeat, remake a lot of the same ideas. Kudos for a unique approach, whether it works or not. I love seeing something I haven’t seen before!

Watch It with a Group and Make Some NOISE!

If you’re interested in watching this film, I’d try to go to the cinema on an evening where more people would be there, or streaming with a group of fellow horror fans. It would be fun hearing a crowd react to some of the kill scenes.

In the theater by myself, I was alone (literally) with my own thoughts, and there are a lot of scenes in this movie where not much happens for long periods of time.

And if you’re doing yoga alone by the water, for heaven’s sake, look behind you! Jeez!

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Images purchased via MovieStillsDB and used for review purposes.

About the Author

Christi Bandy has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. Her first horror movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street, began her lifelong love of horror. Christi also loves coffee, shopping, reading, tattoos, and Halloween.

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