I’ll be completely honest with you. I’ve sat and pondered my thoughts on this movie for the better part of two days. With our show and our nonprofit, we meet and talk with a lot of people with many different views. With the current wave of cinematic outings, some people enjoy the wave of remakes and comic book movies we’ve been getting. While other people on the other hand, want more original content. I see both parties’ point of view. While I enjoy the wave of comic book movies, we’ve been getting. I have enjoyed the opportunity to experience fresh films that offer original voices. They exist -you just have to know where to look for them. Such is the case with the horror-anime, Violence Voyager. In fact, I had no idea how to start out this review because this movie is incredibly bonkers.
Violence Voyager tells the story of two young boys who make a detour to a local amusement park, on their journey to visit a friend in the area, only to step into a race against the clock. Violence experiments with a new form of animation that helps it stand out in a unique way. The animation feels like a cross between a motion comic, anime and stop motion animation – all within the same breath. While it helps the film stand out in an original way, it also chokes a bit. When the audience is thrusted into the second act, one of the young men’s fathers goes looking for him. It’s in the delivery of such an arc that beckons for an emotional response from the audience. Due to the film’s animation style, its’ hard for that emotional connection to be established. It feels void of emotion. When the two narratives eventually intersect, the conclusion for the buildup feels empty.
Even being void of its emotion, the animation still presents itself in a beautiful way and immense detail. Each character and frame feel hand painted which allows the world to breath in beauty and intense art – no matter the emotion or climate of a scene. The pacing is another strong factor that this film boasts. Beautifully building up twists and turns that will leave audiences on the edge of their seat. The delivery is so smooth and flawless. Initially presenting a simplistic story of two young boys going to visit a friend, only to get sidetracked. Seems like a pretty simple story and the filmmakers convey the vision with such utter grace. Though, it’s in that sidetrack moment that the story unfolds with utter brilliance and sheer horror. Violence is always the strongest when it boldly embraces its horror roots. Violence presents itself in a dual narrative. The balance of both arcs is near flawless throughout the first two acts of the film. Never giving too much attention to one or the other. It’s when the film hits its final act that pacing seems to hit fast forward. The last act of the movie feels so suffocated by its own runtime. As if the filmmakers just wanted to get it finished. It feels robbed of its potential and true vision.
Overall, Violence Voyager, is a horror film with a bold and original animation presence. Carrying with it an experimental animation style that walks the line between motion comic, anime and stop motion – Violence is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Even visuals aside, as the film unfolds itself it equally offers up a narrative unlike anything else you’ve ever seen before. Equal parts Sci-Fi, horror and tragedy – Violence can feel very Shakespearean in moments. Though, it never quite reaches the level of mastery Shakespeare carried. Its’ animation style, while gorgeous & detailed, offers up little to no emotion. Robbing the film of its emotional ending that it beckons audiences to connect with. Instead we are left with an empty but beautiful animated film. In equal parts the film’s pacing, while largely consistent, favors a quick ending rather than fleshing out like its previous two acts. Violence Voyager is Horrorland on speed. It’s visual presence and story demands to be viewed, even with some its flaws.
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Credits: Violence Voyager is property of Tri Coast Pictures. We do not own nor claim any rights.