Violence Voyager (2019)

A real treat for our Halloween Season was getting to sit down to watch the new anime horror movie Violence Voyager.

Following the adventures of Bobby and Akkun this adventure is out on October 21st on a vast amount of streaming services including Amazon, DirecTV and Vimeo on Demand.

It is a simple story of two children who wander off in the woods and end up in a killer amusement park called Violence Voyager. If the name of the amusement park didn’t send out red flags to Bobby and his friend Akkun then whatever happened afterwards was really their own faults.

I called this a anime movie but that would be a super simplistic way of explaining Violence Voyager.

No in fact Violence Voyager is made entirely of cardboard puppets moved around on static backgrounds. Mix this in with actual liquids being used and the fact that the characters are all pretty grotesque and you have a visual delight that you never knew you needed to see.

Personally I really liked the puppet style. Any problem I thought it would have conveying drama or tension, emotions on characters faces or anything else just wasn’t there. It was super tense at times and small moments worked super well.

That being said the character of Akkun kind of was annoying and one reason was because his face and his voice actor didn’t quite work together, if the face had been animated or the voice actor different he wouldn’t have been such a awful character to have to endure but the mix of the style and actor just didn’t mesh well and made many of the scenes he was in difficult to watch.

What Violence Voyager does really well though is the one thing many horror films and shows forget to do.

Use sound.

It is such a important part of any horror that doesn’t rely soley on jump scares to scare its audience. It is extremely important in something like this that hasn’t even got animated faces or anything else to really hit home the story. They use silence really well and a good sample of random noises from splatter effects to the unrolling and tearing of duct tape. That and the use of music itself was really well thought out and whilst I was never really scared at any point it helped tell the story much better then if they had ramped up a music score to 100 or just left it to voice actors and puppets.

I actually complain about this quite often and really highly praised some shows this year for a good use of silence when needed and mixing in ambient sounds instead of just going for tense music. It really does help because it makes you stop to hold your breath. Violence Voyager being more of a Sci-Fi-ish, body horror then anything else kind of needed to use this more then anything because your fear comes from your investment in the actual characters and stories and I feel like if they had used a musical score instead it would have come across being pretty cheesy.

That being said there were plenty of cheesy moments which we all love in our horror.

We had a cat called Derek that seemingly was able to nearly fight to the death with a doberman, Akkun’s annoying tendency to throw out lines like “he’s Bobby, he’s American” in the most ridiculous manner as well as some of the voice over at the end being a little… Well just watch it and see what I mean.

This by no means detracts from the film, in fact it adds its own little flavour to it and makes sitting down to watch it a real treat.

Now I’m hard to please when it comes to my Horror movies, I get bored very easily of the modern take on horror but Violence Voyager is pretty decent honestly. It is unique, it doesn’t always take itself super seriously, or maybe that is just the English dub, and the story it tells is pretty interesting. To say it was a pleasant treat would be to do it a disservice, I honestly really enjoyed the film.

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