America IS the assassination nation and on that criteria we’re surprised that Donald Trump’s not been taken out yet especially when half his security must be dedicated to preventing Melania from escaping from the White House. Here the film of the same name has four vaguely trashy tramp students all obsessed with social media in the small town America of Salem. The town seems to be a hot bed of provocatively dressed students amongst a constant state of drinking and sexual debauchery as seen early on at such a house party.
It shouldn’t really be a surprise as this film sets out its stall from the start as it fast forwards through the deviant highlights of the film taking in a variety of ‘isms before the film settles on the hacking of the mayor’s private account where he foolishly has kept a wide variety of specialist interest photos in which he is the star. Hacked and shared the photos leak out to the merriment of others and the shame and embarrassment of the mayor who quickly resigns but not before someone else has their account hacked. This time it’s one of the teachers whose photos with his daughter, though innocent, are ramped up to be something else and to a baying crowd he too finds himself having to resign in shame.
It’s all a bit of a laugh to the students and but the townspeople it’s a source of indignation and they conspire to find who is doing it and that suspicion falls on the four girls Lilly, Nex, Sarah & Em. The pleasure they found in the discomfort of others is soon turned on them yet despite protesting their innocence once the town has made its mind up the mob are not for turning. Like anything once it’s out there its nigh on impossible to stop the rumours, just look at the nonsense that was the Richard Gere hamster story. Utter cobblers but why let the facts get in the way of a good rumour.
The brutishly slutty foursome have the tables turned on them and there’s a moment half way through the film which is part brilliant, part sickening. With all four girls in a house getting ready to go out the camera looks in from outside as they move around as a home invasion begins with a group of young men breaking in and taking each hostage. Technically it’s a brilliantly sustained piece of bravura film making by writer director Sam Levinson. Unfortunately it also has some unedifying violence against the women which at times makes this a hard watch.
Taking its inspiration from the witches of Salem trials Assassination Nation is one of those willfully controversial films and its portrayal of the power of the internet being unstoppable is pretty accurate. For others Assassination Nation is a reminder that social media can be a users nightmare.
Here’s the Assassination Nation trailer…….