The dead-seriousness with which Sims-Fewer and Mancinelli approach their subject is admirable, as is the former’s unsettling lead performance. And you won’t find another film this year that subverts the male gaze in such a brutally naked manner.
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The jumbled narrative structure allows for a couple of a-ha revelations, but it mostly creates a distance for the viewer. And yet despite these flaws, the artistry on display in Violation is undeniable.
Sims-Fewer clearly follows her vision, and paints an unsettling picture with sure strokes. I look forward to more.
The film falls prey to its own smoke and mirrors. It is less subversive than it aspires to be, and more emotionally real than than the filmmakers seem to realize.
Violation is not a movie one can casually recommend, and even aficionados of the horror genre may find it off-putting in its extreme violence or its grandiose self-seriousness. Perhaps the best way to think of this film is as a ritual, a transgressive act of dark magic that manifests all the slimy, sinister creatures crawling along the underside of more straightforward revenge narratives. You can’t banish a demon without conjuring it first.
Sims-Fewer and Mancinelli have crafted a morally complex film that mingles sex and violence in ways that are meant to make the audience uncomfortable.
Sims-Fewer and Mancinelli have given their subject matter the focus it deserves, distinguishing themselves as thoughtful, artistic and uncompromising in their shared vision. This female-centered story manages to be gutsy while resisting exploitation — a welcome and nuanced addition to a genre often hobbled by didacticism.
Violation is trenchant and effective, deftly handling the emotional trauma at its core.
Building to a remorseless climax, Sims-Fewer and co-writer/director Dusty Mancinelli brilliantly, and times almost unwatchably, overhaul the rape-revenge movie as something far more realistic, traumatised and noxious.
Violation impressively pushes against the typically straightforward trajectory of the rape-revenge film.