Halloween is just around the corner and I know that you are all just dying for some horror in your lives. Something that just creeps you out and adds a dab of fear to this dark and dreary season. Well folks if this description fits you Violence Voyager may just be the perfect film for you.
Before you go on I will say this, you can read this review, but the film like any great Horror movie, is best watched. So trust me just go watch the movie.
Violence Voyager is an utterly unique animated film from Japan. The film follows Bobby a young American boy living in Japan. Bobby and his best friend, the unliked and often bullied Akkun decide to head into the mountains near their village to build the perfect secret base. On the way they stop into a mysterious amusement park, where the kindly owner lets them enter for free, all starts out good, but then things take a dark turn for the worse and a series of events happen that will change the boys forever.
Before we get into the “Violence” I wanna talk about the world. After spending some time in rural Japan I absolutely loved what the film showed me, there are so many hidden little details that only a local would see. Even the park was quite the marvel, as it is the main setting for the film, with plenty of little references to other movies such as Jurassic park and classic Alien science fiction B Movies. I especially enjoyed the gear that the kids received in the park, as it reminded me of the toys I had as a child.
As films go this one is particularly well paced. Violent voyager is very slow to start with, it never rushes to get you to the violence. In fact it uses its art and music to build an incredibly slow sense of dread, using every little detail to keep you on the edge. Then suddenly the mood lifts and lures you into a false sense of security but like any act of violence once first blood is drawn the film does not bother holding back.
Watching the movie really reminded me of classic Steven king, undoubtedly because he is the master of horror. With a plot driven by interpersonal relationships, particularity that of friendship and in a twisted way family, it gives us all something we can relate too. Mix that with an utter sense of dread and it’s easy to see how this reminds me of films like IT and The Shining – especially bringing up childhood feelings of isolation. Pivoting away from King it also had brought back grotesque and violent imagery of from The Texas chainsaw massacre. Finally returning to King I cannot help but be reminded of the great Stand By Me, which I know is not a horror film, but does follow a group of boys on a walk through the wilderness.
One final detail I love about this movie is what it does not show. Many of characters are depicted scared and mutilated. Not only that but you can tell that there is so much more going on in Violent Voyager than you ever see. First rule of cinema is show don’t tell and Violence Voyager follows that rule exceptionally well.
This is a dark film, one that starts of playing out the fears of children but rapidly plays on the fears of adults. It really is worth a watch. If your looking for something unique this is exactly the movie for you.