Fantasia 2010: The Violent Kind

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The Violent Kind

Directed by The Butcher Brothers

In The Violent Kind, members of a motorcycle gang are terrorized by supernatural forces while at an isolated cabin. A mostly disappointing evocation of classic b-movies, the film nonetheless shows a lot of creative potential. Blending gang violence, apparent demonic possession and crazy science fiction, the film is not lacking in fun ideas – it just fails at being particularly entertaining. Some of this is due to lazy writing, though poor filmmaking is more likely the cause.

The “Butcher Brothers” seem to understand very well what makes a bad movie great, but they also fail to notice the stylistic basics that make these films work. It is not simply about knowing how to frame some overtly dramatic low-angle shots, but understanding how long to hold a shot, and how to construct a working sequence. The film feels unnecessarily sanitized, particularly in the case of its conservatice editing. A more aggressive approach might have highlighted the wonderful chaos of the unfolding events. There are shots and sequences now and then that come very close to reaching that level, but most feel bland and are cut a little too short. The worst of it is due to an overabundance of fading to black, which ruins the flow of many potentially great scenes.

Though the film ultimately does not succeed at achieving what it sets out to do, it acts as a playing ground for primising ideas. The film’s strangeness is at least something to be admired, as well as the fact most of the cast is able to tap into that off-beat state of mind. The “villains” stand out in this regard, and remain the highlight of the film. Overall, the film’s failings can be attributed to a lack of confidence in the material. The Violent Kind is not necessarily worth recommending, but that does not discount the fact that with some improvements, the Butcher Brothers may emerge as some of the brightest young stars of the horror genre.

Justine Smith

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