“Usually it’s the other way around”: ‘In a Violent Nature’ Getting a Stellar 87% Rating Might Not Be Enough to Guarantee a Box-Office Hit for Avant-Garde Slasher Film

The Canadian slasher film employs many familiar tropes of the genre with a unique twist.

in a violent nature


  • Chris Nash's In A Violent Nature has been lauded by critics for being a reinvention of the slasher genre.
  • The movie shift perspective from the victims to the killer's and takes an avant-garde approach to the genre.
  • However, the concept may have backfired as the film's audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes is at 46%.
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The Canadian slasher film In A Violent Nature was known for its reinvention of a familiar horror trope. Directed by Chris Nash, the ‘ambient horror’ film follows a killer in the rural parts of Ontario who targets a group of teens who come to spend their summer in camping in the woods. The film seems to have added a new visual language to the usual premise.


In A Violent Nature had its premiere at the Midnight section of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Many critics praised its unique filmmaking twist to the slasher genre. However, despite the love from critics, the film seems to have not impressed audiences as its Rotten Tomatoes audience score was reportedly lesser than the critics’ score.

In A Violent Nature Gets A Lower Audience Score Than Critics’ On Rotten Tomatoes

Ry Barrett as Johnny in In A Violent Nature
A still from In A Violent Nature | Credits: Shudder Films/Zygote Pictures/Low Sky Productions

Chris Nash’s ambien slasher film In A Violent Nature opened to positive reviews from critics earlier this week. The film follows Johnny, a mute killer in rural Ontario who targets a group of teens on vacation. True to the slasher genre, there are many gory deaths and a killer whose original motives behind the killings are unknown.


However, the film reportedly takes a more Avant-Garde approach to the film, using long, static shots and little to no background score to elevate the scenes. It also shifts the perspective from the teens to that of Johnny himself, with the film largely focusing on his movements.

Charlotte Creaghan plays Aurora in the famous Yoga Kill scene in In A Violent Nature | Credits: Shudder Films/Zygote Pictures/Low Sky Productions
A still from In A Violent Nature | Credits: Shudder Films/Zygote Pictures/Low Sky Productions

The unconventional storytelling method worked with critics as evidenced by the positive acclaim and 87% critics’ scores on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the film did not impress general audiences as the score on RT stands at 46%. Many users took to social media to explore the reasons for this difference.




Many attributed the visual language of long-drawn-out sequences to be boring and repetitive. Others spoke about how setting it in the killer’s perspective took out the suspense that is traditional to the genre.

Chris Nash Tried To Reinvent The Slasher With In A Violent Nature

Leatherface celebrates a kill in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
A still from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre | Credits: Vortex Inc.

The slasher sub-genre is a niche that has developed a fanbase. The genre usually involves a horror setting with plenty of gore and blood. Films such as Friday the 13th, Halloween, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre have become classics in the genre and have established a few tropes that can be exhaustive.

However, director Chris Nash decided to keep the tropes while giving it a unique visual treatment. The film In A Violent Nature shifts the perspective from the victims, in this case, a group of teens camping, to that of the killer, Johnny. Nash reportedly used many avante-garde techniques inspired by the films of Terrence Malick and Gus Van Sant.


Nash said to Variety in an interview ahead of the film’s Sundance premiere,

I love the vibe of following a character. Sitting back and having somebody hold your hand through this story and just feeling a gentle breeze of the film pass by you. I kept thinking of slashers — what kind of direction could we go from there? We’re following a character, not even commenting on what’s happening or what they’re doing, we’re just on this ride.

Nash also mentioned he used the familiar tropes of the genre to not spend time in establishing the characters, and used overheard conversations to assign an archetype while still following the killer.

In A Violent Nature is playing in cinemas now.


Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 1149

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 1,000 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.