Shudder has released the first official trailer for “Violation,” a disturbing revenge thriller that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, recently screened at Sundance, and will play SXSW next month ahead of its March 25 streaming release. The film is a haunting psychological drama about a country retreat gone awry when two sisters and their partners hunker down for the weekend. It’s the feature filmmaking debut of Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli, with Sims-Fewer delivering a wallop of a performance as the unraveling protagonist.
Here’s the official synopsis, lest we don’t give too much away: “With her marriage about to implode, Miriam returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister and brother-in-law. But one evening a tiny slip in judgement leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked, reeling, and furious. Believing her only recourse is to exact revenge, Miriam takes extreme action, but the price of retribution is high, and she is not prepared for the toll it takes as she begins to emotionally and psychologically unravel.”
Body horror lovers will revel in “Violation,” which doesn’t pull its punches so much as exact them as painfully as a slowly tightening screw to the head. Ripe with sumptuous visuals that recall Andrea Arnold’s obsession with bugs or Alain Guiraudie’s menacingly serene water shots, “Violation” hammers a grotesquely female gaze into the revenge thriller with unflinching precision.
Anyone who’s been following the critical dialogue around “Promising Young Woman” and its morose ending will certainly find a new spin to the material in “Violation.” The idea of empowerment becomes a loaded term when it comes to any revenge story, but it doesn’t take long to see who has the power in “Violation.”
In addition to Sims-Fewer, “Violation” stars Anna Maguire as Miriam’s sister Greta, Obi Abili as her emotionally distant husband Caleb, and Jesse LaVercombe as her shifty brother-in-law Dylan. The ensemble cast work well together, filling out each relationship with an uneasy blend of discomfort and familiarity.
“Violation” was written, produced, and directed by Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli. Shudder will release “Violation” on March 25. Check out the film’s first trailer, available exclusively on IndieWire, below.