so Assassination Nation is interesting.
It’s a 2018 film by Sam Levinson who seems to be getting a lot of press recently for Euphoria (very positive) and Malcolm & Marie (positive and negative).
He’s definitely an interesting writer/director who seems unafraid to try things. Basically it’s a schlocky exploitation/horror movie about an entire town going kinda nuts and turning on a group of girls. (Town happens to be called Salem, so it’s definitely not subtle).
The weirdest thing is that a lot of elements from the first half of the film are incredibly similar to Euphoria. Several of the characters and scenes could be straight out of Euphoria. (Including the slightly weird repetition of having an older man with the handle ‘Daddy’ who is having a dodgy text-based relationship with a younger schoolgirl).
Focus on teen sexuality and relationships, drugs, social media, bullying, toxic masculinity, etc…
The second half of the film is where everything goes to hell, so that’s less similar… unless season 2 of Euphoria degenerates into mob rule and a blood bath. I’m not sure the transition worked super well, but it’s ok.
He does some cool things with the camera and music, though the camerawork is clearly more restrained here, possibly due to the budget. There’s a cool tracking shot around a house later, but less of the 360 degree flips and things that Euphoria sometimes throws in.
It’s interesting that it (7/10) shares a lot of elements with Euphoria (9/10), but the two reviewed so differently.
I’m not sure the ending was super satisfying, and again it was far from subtle… but it’s not really a movie that wants to be subtle. I think the weakest point was that only really one main character was fleshed out, which meant I wasn’t as invested in some of the main characters as I should have been.
PS/ It starts with trigger warnings for: bullying, blood, abuse, classism, death, drinking, drug use, sexual content, toxic masculinity, homophobia, transphobia, guns, nationalism, racism, kidnapping, murder, attempted murder, the male gaze, sexism, swearing, torture, violence, gore, weapons, and fragile male egos. but since they’re illustrated with short clips, I don’t think the intention is entirely serious.