Assassination Nation opens with a tongue-in-cheek trigger warning: this film will contain, amongst other things, scenes of “toxic masculinity, fragile male egos and the male gaze”. What follows is a film that rollicks along at a pace that feels akin to the rapid rhythm of scrolling through social media.
The story follows four high school students, Lily, Bex, Em and Sarah, who live, illuminated by the perpetual glow of their iPhones, in a small suburban town called – of course – Salem. Practised as they may be in managing their online presence, even these girls have secrets they don’t want shared, and when an anonymous hacker doxes the town’s personal information, chaos quickly spreads. It’s not long until mob mentality prevails and public shaming turns into a bloody witch hunt. Lily and her friends are left literally fighting for their lives.
Writer-director Sam Levinson mimics internet teen-speak with ease, working closely with his lead actors on a bold script that crackles with the energy and rage of the #MeToo era.