In the present day, Miriam struggles to have a cheerful marriage and feels her relationship is near to divorce. She and her husband return to her hometown to catch up with her younger sister and brother-in-law after being apart for many years. Miriam hopes that she will find peace in her current marriage and find support and comfort from her family. But while the four are together, something horrific occurs, which fills Miriam with rage, pain, suffering and a desire for vengeance. Miriam decides that she will take matters into her own hands- a decision that has shocking and disturbing consequences.
To my surprise, Violation is not your standard scary and bloody horror flick. The horror comes from the film portraying dreadful events as accurately as possible. The film is also a tense watch, and Violation is not for the faint-hearted. This movie includes elements of extreme violence and large amounts of nudity. While I rarely look away from the big screen, Violation made me feel uncomfortable multiple times, and I found myself looking away (you have been warned).
The performances are brilliant. Naturally, I am talking about actress Madeleine Sim-Fewer, who plays Miriam. She unintentionally stole every scene she was in and always commanded the screen. The actress displays an extensive range of emotion and pain for the entire duration, and her work, like the film, left me feeling quite speechless. Fun fact- it should also be noted that Madeleine Sim-Fewer also serves as co-writer and co-director, along with Dusty Mancinelli.
As for pacing, Violation is a slow-burning horror film. The film provides creative use of visuals, and scenes certainly enjoy taking their time to build tension to the point viewers may start to bite their fingernails. At times, the film will also go back and forth in the story, revealing more details we were not aware of. This timeline keeps the viewers guessing the outcomes, all of which I found to be unpredictable. While most of the visuals are splendid to watch, and I mostly found them enjoyable, I was disappointed to see some powerful moments were filmed with a shaky camera technique. I found the use of this technique off-putting and distracting.
Overall, Violation is not for everyone. It succeeds as a horror movie, as I found it deeply disturbing on many levels to the point I had to look away during crucial moments. Madeleine Sim-Fewer gives an incredible in the lead role. The pacing is undoubtedly slow and questionable, and like the tones of the film, it is not for everyone. Some key moments in the movie are also displayed with a shaky camera style of filming, which was a major let down for me. In the end, while this type of horror is not my cup of tea, it was still certainly pleasing on many levels as the filmmakers pushed the limits as far as possible.
Violation (2020) is Now Available on Shudder!