North American Premiere
Just when it’s become axiomatic that horror movies are all the same these days, finally, here’s something new. Like early-career Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Violator is a deliberately paced puzzle that keeps your flesh crawling as it stays one step ahead of you, delivering unforgettably macabre images that hint at one of the darkest world views you’ll ever see. The first half of Violator consists of a series of surreal vignettes as a hurricane approaches Manila: an old cop haunted by a ghost and lung cancer, a young cop and his lover, two hipsters who set themselves on fire, a girl who jumps off a building, a church service that turns into a mass suicide… It’s the end of the world, and soon the cops arrest a kid who claims to be possessed by the devil and lock him in the holding cells. But as the hurricane rips into Manila, their station is cut off from the outside world and they realize that what’s inside with them is pure evil. Dark, despairing, and beautiful in its ugliness, Violator is one of the few horror movies in recent years to be as interested in emotions as jump scares.