Assassination Nation – USA, 2018

‘You asked for it, America.’

Assassination Nation is a 2018 American thriller feature film written and directed by Sam Levinson. It stars Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra, Bella Thorne, Bill Skarsgård, Cody Christian, Joel McHale and Maude Apatow.

Salem high school senior Lily (Odessa Young) and her pals spend their time in a haze of social media and partying.

When the people of Salem are targeted in a malicious data hack, all privacy is destroyed and lives are ruined as deadly secrets are exposed. The small town turns on each other and descends into violent chaos as they hunt for the culprit. Lily and her friends must band together if they want to survive the night…

Reviews:

“Levinson has crafted something very special with Assassination Nation, incorporating bucketloads of style into his visual prose, and smartly relying on the talents of cinematographer Marcell Rév, whose ingenious camera movements fully immerse viewers into this frenetic world of sexts, texts, and selfies (there’s also a stellar home invasion sequence that completely blew my mind). His focus could use a bit of tightening, but overall Levinson delivers a visceral gut punch of a movie…” Heather Wixson, Daily Dead

“This is a fast, fizzy attack on middle-American conservatism, misogyny, slut-shaming, transphobia, religious hypocrisy, and so on. If Donald Trump supports it, essentially, it’s in Levinson’s crosshairs. This film is oddly cavalier about gun violence, however, as suburban paranoia escalates into messy, stylish, entertainingly absurd chaos.” Guy Lodge, Evening Standard (London)

“Ending on a brazenly blatant lecture on the state of America and an easy gag before a needless end credits sequence, it’s clear that Levinson’s main goal is to provoke, the equivalent of screaming into a void where everyone listening is already on your side. Assassination Nation may hit buttons in the moment, but looking back, it fades away as an experience as ugly as it is unpleasant.” Jordan Raup, The Film Stage

“Now, you may find it hard to accept the idea that an entire town would turn on a group of teenagers so easily and so violently. But Assassination Nation’s flashy, modern, feminist retrospective on witch hunts uses overlapping layers of toxic masculinity, homophobia, transphobia, slut shaming, and the immediacy of overblown online reactions to present the idea that maybe it’s not so far fetched.” Kelly McNeely, iHorror

“Not only is it thrilling and more than a little bit scary, but technically Levinson and cinematographer Marcell Rev up the ante and set up the horror show that is to follow. The final act, which finds the ladies in I Spit On Your Grave payback mode, is sure to be a crowd-pleaser whatever your gender. While I could argue Levinson loses sight of his target even here […] it’s also an undeniable pleasure to see the town’s worst get their comeuppance.” Travis Hopson, Punch Drunk Critics

“It explores peer pressure, the sexualization of young women, toxic masculinity, privacy, doxxing, public shaming, mob mentally, misplaced righteousness and distrust of authority. And if you’re like me and shy away from horror films, this one has some violence but there is so much to enjoy from the visual imagery, costumes, lighting cinematography, typography that makes it well worth the gory scenes.” Rachel Stecher, Quelle Movies

“Levinson can’t always keep a grip on his tone, but there are a few incredibly well-constructed sequences […] It’s a film that sparks to life enough to forgive when it sags. Most of all, the young cast, especially Young and Nef, throw themselves entirely into this insanity, keeping viewers engaged through the film’s more ridiculous chapters.” Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“Utilising the buzz words of a liberally conscious today (‘toxic masculinity’, ‘transphobia’, ‘fragile male egos’), it works best when its message is ignored and the focus is on its energetic pace and its stirring visuals. What could be something angry and potent about male entitlement and female anger is left feeling cheap.” Katie Driscoll, Starburst magazine

Cast and characters:

  • Odessa Young as Lily
  • Suki Waterhouse as Sarah
  • Hari Nef as Bex
  • Abra as Em
  • Bella Thorne as Reagan
  • Bill Skarsgård as Mark – IT; IT: Chapter Two; Castle Rock; Hemlock Grove
  • Joel McHale as Nick
  • Maude Apatow as Grace
  • Colman Domingo as Principal Turrell
  • Anika Noni Rose as Nance
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Mason
  • Lukas Gage as Eric
  • Cody Christian as Johnny
  • Danny Ramirez as Diamond
  • Noah Galvin as Marty
  • Jeff Pope as Officer Richter

Release:

Assassination Nation had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2018.

The movie is scheduled to be released on September 21, 2018 by NEON and AGBO.

Running time:

110 minutes

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