Violation - Violation(Blu Ray) [Acorn Media - 2021]
Violation is a troubling-to-intense drama come rape-revenge thriller- it features some great gutsy & convincing acting, some seriously gruelling & extreme moments, and a broodingly arty visual edge. Here from Acorn Media is a Blu Ray release of this Shudder channel exclusive film- with the disc taking in a few extras.
Violation is a 2020 Canadian producer film with a central British/ Canadian cast of just four. It was co-directed/ co-written by Dusty Mancinelli and Madeleine Sims-Fewer - filmed over two months in and around the mountains of Quebec. It’s the debut feature-length film from the duo, and I must say it’s both a thought-provoking and troubling picture- which switches from & blends believable drama, uncomfortable sexual content, and very intense/ gruelling violence and gore.
It centres around two sisters Miriam(Madeleine Sims-Fewer) and her slightly younger sister Greta(Anna Maguire)- both are in their late 20’s and early 30’s. The film is told over two or three time periods, where the two meet up in and around the isolated lakes, woodland and mountains of the Canadian countryside. They are joined by Dylan(Jesse LaVercombe) Greta's seemingly charming American husband, and Caleb(Obi Abili) Miriam’s English African boyfriend. From the off, as we see Miriam and Greta travelling into the wildness of Canada, it’s clear the pair have issues. And as we move we find the pair haven’t slept together in some time, and each time they do Miriam has to get drunk.
Dylan and Miriam clearly get on well together- with a relationship that goes back to when the pair were at school together. One night the two are the last two left up, chatting and drinking into the early hours- just as the fire is dying in the dawn, sex happens between the two- initially this is portrayed in a fairly unclear manner, but as we move on we find Dylan raped her as she awoke. She confronts both Dylan and her sister after the event- with both denying what really went on.Roger Batty
We switch to sometime in the future where Miriam is back at the lakeside cabin- fairly soon Dylan turns up, and it seems that their relationship has developed into an affair. He strips becomes aroused with seeming sex about to occur- when Miriam knocks him out. From here we flit back and forth between dramatic and troubling interactions in the past, Dylan gruelling fate, and its aftermath. This is all edged by brooding shots of nature with a soundtrack that switches between mournful choirs, dark and dissonant modern classical music, and grim string ambience.
The acting from all concerned is extremely believable- though hats off to both LaVercombe and Madeleine Sims-Fewer, as they really do go through the emotional and physical grinder over the film length. The nearing two-hour film is largely an emotional drama with brutal thriller elements not fully kick into the second half of the film, so it’s certainly not a film for who those looking for all-out gruel and intensity from the off. But if you are after well-observed, intelligent and highly believable drama-come-rape revenge Violation will be for you- but be warned it is one hell of an emotional roller coaster.
Moving onto the region B Blu Ray- and on the extra front, we get two around minute interviews/ intros from co-writers/ co-directors Dusty Mancinelli and Madeleine Sims-Fewer. And though these are both fairly short you get some insight into their influences and their five-year working partnership, as the pair have made several short films together before this.
In finishing Violation is certainly an original, very well-acted, and highly thought-provoking take on the rape-revenge genre, as well as a great/ impactful debut feature-length film. And I look forward to seeing what both Mancinelli & Sims-Fewer do next. Certainly one for those looking for extreme film, that’s both powerful, intense, yet very well made & crafted too. If you'd like to check out the films trailer head to just here