At first I couldn't remember why I had ordered David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence. Then it slowly came back to me: the reviews had been pretty good. And the film did not disappoint, not one bit. After the long opening sequence, setting up the two psychopaths, Cronenberg’s efforts to depict a town and a family of almost supernatural normality meant that you absolutely knew that something was going to go horribly wrong. And it did, in the best possible way. What really got me was how much was left unknown and unknowable. What had ”Tom” done back in Philly, and why had he given up that life? And his brother Richie? Best of all, the tantalizing hint of nature vs nurture in Tom’s son Jack’s behaviour. And the final scene, the dinner when everything unsaid remains unsaid, left me stunned as it faded to black. How come the movie didn’t make more of a splash at the time?

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

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