And welcome to a review of the film that left me flabbergasted. This is Assassination Nation.
IMDb summary: After a malicious data hack exposes the secrets of the perpetually American town of Salem, chaos descends and four girls must fight to survive while coping with the hack themselves.
- Assassination Nation was written and directed by Sam Levinson as only his second feature film that he has directed and the third one that he has written. It was basically a feminist manifesto wrapped up in a Purge movie. Let’s unpack that:
- Assassination Nation featured some quite heavy-handed social commentary. It openly expressed the fact that women should not be silenced by society and that they should fight back. The message was realized within such a radical and extreme and hypocritical plot-line that it was a bit hard to take it seriously. And yet, with everything that is going around in today’s world and the current cultural/political climate, maybe the world of the movie wasn’t that hard to believe. Which makes the whole ordeal even scarier. And maybe then the message of the film should not be subtle either but direct as it was here.
- Assassination Nation was also a genre movie: a gory horror picture that both drew the viewers’ attention to the fact that cinema has helped to desensitize violence by simultaneously partaking in such desensitization of violence itself. And I don’t know whether that genre-outside helped the movie to strengthen its message or whether it just distracted from it.
- The four main characters were played by Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, and Abra. I loved how the film had some diversity within this core 4, both in terms of race and gender identification, but how it also didn’t draw too much attention to it but rather presented it as a given fact, a reality that ought to be normalized. Bella Thorne, Bill Skarsgård (It), and Joel McHale also had supporting roles in the film.
- At first glance, Assassination Nation seemed like quite a unique picture to me. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it is actually following in the footsteps of such films as Heathers and, more recently, Thoroughbreds. That is not to say that Assassination Nation wasn’t unique or great in its own right.
In short, Assassination Nation as either confused cringe fest or a brilliant masterpiece. I’m not sure I’ll ever know which one.
Rate: ?/5 (my confusion is refusing to give a number this time)
Trailer: Assassination Nation trailer