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A History Of Violence * David Cronenberg (2005)

I thought that this was a Cronenberg classic, but it is actually a recent film. Now knowing the year it was put in the cinemas makes me have to change my opinion about it. Watching “A History Of Violence” it occured to me that the brothers Coen used quite a bit of the atmosphere of this film in their more violent films. Actually it now more seems like it is the other way around. Like the Coens, Cronenberg uses this cold, suppressed kind of humour in “A History Of Violence” with a couple of violent and gruesome outburst. This would have been more funny when this film was 20 years old. Actually, when comparing this film with more recent ‘new violence’ and related films, it is quite… tame. Still I find “A History Of Violence” a very good film. It is not really original in story and, as we saw, not really original in execution, but Cronenberg proves himself a good director. We follow Tom Stall who lives in some small town somewhere out in the USA. When two people try to rob his diner, Tom’s reaction is swift and kills both robbers. The press turns Tom in a local hero and he appears all over the television. This causes him to be recognised by some people from his violent past. Or do they see Tom for the wrong man? Like I said, the film is well done, in all aspects actually. There a few good sex scenes (in contrast to most of which we see in popular films), the ‘normal’ drama is well done, the undercooled humour is good and the violence is funny and gruesome at the same time.

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