Eschewing the typical gore-fest of the slasher genre, Chris Nash’s “In a Violent Nature” chills audiences with a different kind of horror. This Canadian film, available on Shudder, relies heavily on atmosphere, building dread through long, silent takes that immerse viewers in the unsettling world surrounding its characters. Considering its slow-burn narrative, it’s no wonder that writer-director Nash stated the works of Terrence Malick and Gus Van Sant as his cinematic influences.

Spoilers Ahead

In a Violent Nature (2024) Plot Summary:

Written & directed by Chris Nash, “In A Violent Nature” is a slasher film that premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. It follows a mute killer who targets a group of young adults after they take a locket that belonged to him. The film stars Ry Barrett, Andrea Pavlovic, Cameron Love, Reece Presley, Liam Leone, Charlotte Creaghan, Lea Rose Sebastianis, Sam Roulston, Alexander Oliver, and Lauren-Marie Taylor.

Friends Unwittingly Awaken a Killer in the Woods

“In a Violent Nature” is a slasher film that takes place entirely in a forest. A group of friends, likely in their early twenties, come for a weekend getaway in the wilderness. While walking around a collapsed fire tower, Colt (Cameron Love) and Ehren (Sam Roulston) notice a locket. One of them doesn’t think they should take it, considering the infamous White Pine Slaughter. But the other one decides to take it anyway before they return to their friends, Brodie (Lea Rose Sebastianis), Troy (Liam Leone), Aurora (Charlotte Craghan), and Colt’s partner Kris (Andrea Pavlovic).

Once the guys leave the place, the rotting corpse of Johnny (Ry Barrett) wakes up and gets out of the pit. He notices trees marked with knots of pink ribbons and follows them. In the end, he finds Chuck (Timothy Paul McCarthy) arguing with the Ranger (Reece Presley) about animal traps around his house. Once the Ranger drives away, Johnny walks inside Chuck’s house to hear news about the employment crisis related to the laid-off workers in their community. Moments later, Johnny notices a golden locket hanging in the back that reminds him of his mother’s locket left over his corpse. Before leaving, he terrifies Chuck and kills him.

What happened during the White Pine Slaughter?

Johnny realizes that Chuck’s locket isn’t the one he is looking for. So, he walks around till night to find the young travelers sitting around a bonfire, talking. The discussion soon reaches the topic of White Pine Slaughter that Ehren mentioned before. So, Ehren starts narrating the story from over 70 years ago that his uncle told him. It was about Johnny, who was a kid at the time. His father ran the stores that sold everyday items at exorbitant prices to the workers from a logging company. So, they used to take out their anger on Johnny, who had an intellectual disability.

One day, when a logger was drunk, he got injured slipping over Johnny’s toy car. So, he was laid off from work for months. Because of this, the loggers decided to take revenge on Johnny. They stole Johnny’s toys and told him to come to the top of a fire tower to get them back. Johnny naively went there to get ridiculed by a logger, who scared him. Subsequently, Johnny lost his balance, fell to the ground, and died. The loggers got worried and decided to stage a scenario to portray as if Johnny killed himself. That’s when they put a firefighter mask on his face.

Why does Johnny kill everyone in his way?

In a Violent Nature (2024) Movie Ending Explained
A still from “In a Violent Nature” (2024)

Soon after Johnny’s death, his father found his body and suspected that loggers were behind it. So, he confronted them. It turned into a fight, which led to his death. When the company execs reached the place, they found the dead bodies of all their lumberjacks. The legend has it that a masked man, embodying Johnny’s spirit, was behind this massacre. While his corpse stayed rotting under the tower, the locket still reminded him of his mother. When Troy removes it, Johnny’s spirit becomes hellbent to retrieve it.

What happens to the group of young travelers?

While Ehren narrates the story of the infamous slaughter incident, Johnny looks at the group from a distance. When they take a group photo, Johnny stays in the dark background. Later that night, he walks up to their place and overhears their conversation. Then, he follows Ehren in the woods and slashes his head. Then, he drags Ehren’s body to the local ranger station, breaks inside, and keeps it there. He notices a firefighter mask & an axe and steals them. The next day, he notices Aurora & Brodie at a lake. He enters the water and swims to the other end to kill Brodie underwater. Then, he walks out of the water to slash Aurora to death.

After killing Aurora & Brodie, Johnny walks toward their house. Colt, Troy, and Evan talk about Ehren not having returned home. Troy assumes Ehren just went to see some girls at the gas station he liked. Colt believes it is far more serious. In the photo they clicked before, he notices someone standing behind them. But Troy refuses to be serious about finding Ehren, Aurora & Brodie’s whereabouts. Still, Colt and Kris decide to go to the station to inquire about Ehren. After they leave, Johnny tricks Troy into coming out to the car and stabs him. Seeing that, Evan shoots Johnny. But Johnny wakes up again to kill Troy & Evan.

In a Violent Nature (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Colt & Kris return to their place of stay to find Troy & Evan dead. Johnny notices Kris and tries to kill her. Colt saves her from the attack of his axe. They immediately drive to the ranger station. The Ranger (Reece Presley) tells them that they shouldn’t have taken the locket from the top of the corpse. Soon after, Johnny reaches there, and the ranger shoots him. But Johnny wakes up again and kills the ranger. While Colt & Kris run for their lives, Johnny drags the ranger’s body. He cuts it to pieces with a hacksaw.

Later that night, Colt tries to distract Johnny to put an end to his rampage. However, once Colt attempts to do that, Johnny brutally slashes his face over and over. Kris sees that happen. She leaves the locket back there and runs for her life throughout the night. Early in the morning, she notices a car drive past her. The female driver (Lauren-Marie Taylor) notices that Kris is shell-shocked and offers her a ride. She figures Kris ran away from a deadly animal. So, while driving her to a hospital, she tells her about a tragic incident her brother witnessed.

Does anyone survive Johnny’s killing spree?

About 30 years ago, the woman’s brother witnessed a horrifying incident. He saw a pile of deer carcasses killed by a bear. But the deer didn’t look eaten at all. It seemed as if the bear left after just killing them. After hearing about it, the boss of the woman’s brother told him to check on the bear. So, the brother drove his jeep deep into the forest. One thing led to another and he found himself mauled by a bear. However, he somehow made it out alive. The moral of her story is that the violence didn’t have a clear reason. It happened likely because of the bear’s urge to kill. In the present, Johnny doesn’t come to kill Kris, the only survivor from the group of travellers. He takes the locket and likely returns.

Read More: Everything Coming to Shudder in June 2024

Trailer:

In a Violent Nature (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Wikipedia, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
In a Violent Nature (2024) Movie Cast: Ry Barrett, Andrea Pavlovic, Cameron Love, Reece Presley, Liam Leone, Charlotte Creaghan, Lea Rose Sebastianis, Sam Roulston, Alexander Oliver, Lauren-Marie Taylor, Timothy Paul McCarthy
In a Violent Nature (2024) Movie: Horror/Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 34m
Where to watch In a Violent Nature

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