‘Assassination Nation’: Social Media Satire Misses The Mark

Excerpts from my mixed review of ‘Assassination Nation’ at this year's Sundance Film Festival:

Assassination Nation” starts off in deliciously horrific fashion, with a warning about the “sensory assault” that’s about to happen onscreen. “Fragile male egos” are told to brace themselves for murder, bullying, and torture, and a kinetic montage follows teasing all the mayhem that’s about to ensue. If only the film were that exciting."

"Writer-director Sam Levinson’s film sold for $10 million, a record at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. That’s all fine and dandy and not surprising considering the rambunctious audience reaction it garnered earlier in the week at the Midnight screening premiere. But after the dust has settled, this satirical riff on the dangers of social media feels like a non-starter for the horror genre."

"The climax, which has Levinson framing his “badass” sword-wielding girls walking in slow-motion down the streets of their suburban neighbourhood, looking to exact their revenge, is ridiculously overwrought and on the nose, but maybe that’s the point. This is Levinson’s ode to American excess, where nothing comes simply and the potential for society to crumble into chaos is just a mouse click away."

Here’s the official synopsis:

"High school senior Lily and her group of friends live in a haze of texts, posts, selfies and chats just like the rest of the world. So, when an anonymous hacker starts posting details from the private lives of everyone in their small town, the result is absolute madness leaving Lily and her friends questioning whether they’ll live through the night."

“Assassination Nation” is unleashed into theaters on September 21.