Swet Thriller

A History of Violence (2005) by David Cronenberg
Other films by David Cronenberg: The Fly (1986), eXistenZ (1999), Eastern Promises (2007), A Dangerous Method (2011)
My first (conscious) David Cronenberg film and it did more than just impressed me, I’m more than willing exploring his films now and actually near on discovering a new favourite director in the process. Next to my lists are: Eastern Promises, The Fly, A Dangerous Method. I’ve actually scene eXitenz and it did as well impressed me a lot but I wasn’t too aware of him at that time, nor was I actively making reviews. Cronenberg’s style here was amazing: the story telling and impact on its characters were just as equal and striking as it did for the audience, the individual scenes that make up the whole fitted together very well that each of them became its own story without affecting or damaging the plot, it may actually make it more personal the way it helped the audience explore the individual miseries and consciousness the characters experienced.


Directing: Amazing cinematography and action scenes which were quick yet deadly in its own characteristic way. I can count at least four scenes in the film that I may keep on watching for a very long time in my life.

The opening scene and it’s calm and slow mood and how it was done by a continuous 4-miniute take was very fitting to the scene that followed. The audience were set into Billy’s perspective the whole time and then brought into Leland’s previous experience in a very creative way by being asked to visit the scene he just left, without our knowledge of what occurred in there. To our surprise, it was something highly frightening. It was magnified even more when the little girl was revealed. The scene was just amazing yet cold and silent.

The second scene helped contrast evil from good. I think it introduced the identity of the family really well, then slowly the scenes that followed opened our eyes to what they were actually like or experiencing in their individual lives.

The dialogues experienced by the characters in their own daily moments were interesting and special in its own way. It made you empathize with the normal experiences of ordinary people.

“I remember the moment you were in love with me. I saw it in your eyes.” – How innocent and revealing this is.

I admire Cronenberg’s creative and artistic skill of exploring the different perspectives of his characters, the way they all have their own life to deal with and how he had made the audience acquainted with their personalities in just little quality time.

The attempted robbery scene in the diner was thrilling and mesmerizing, we find out shortly the reason why the actions made by Tom were a little too shocking to believe in. Great acting and directing.

Damn sex scene on the staircase could possibly win an award not just on itself, but how it was brought up to that point. It was secretly hot and sensual, capped by violence with just the use of casual tension and personal actions.

Plot: The writing of this film deserves a nomination. I think it’s incredible how the plot could be seen as something simple from one angle, yet magnified on when and where the story was then revived. Or how complicating the situation actually is, and is made relevant by the point in sequence of how the film told the story. Anyone could have told the story from the start, but the suspense would have been limited. In a way, the story itself became as shocking to the audience as it would have been to the people involved in the story.

I just admire how the underdog stands up to the bully. In a way you can sense the family is starting to get corrupted by the overturning event that occurred in the diner. Violence is contagious, even when you don’t force it; it becomes the simplest and even right action to do.

Characters/Acting:  Mortensen’s acting and metamorphosis after the shoot out with the mob on his law was amazing and compelling. Ashton Holmes impresses me so much as well, he reminds me of a possibly better Jesse Eisenberg, but I might be premature on saying that. The overall acting by the cast, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, even the short scenes by William Hurt, McHattie and Byrk were convincing and special.

Score: The background score during the passive scenes didn’t do well for me, but the ones that were in the very suspenseful scenes created great tension.

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