There are some movies which, despite how fantastic they might be, are immensely difficult to recommend due to how disturbing they are. The likes of Irreversible or most of Michael Haneke's body of work, while often unmissable and terrifically magnetic pieces of cinema, are also so punishing to the viewer that you want to protect others from having to experience it, too. Miss Violence can count itself amongst those movies.
On her eleventh birthday, a young girl throws herself from her apartment balcony, killing herself in front of her family. Seemingly otherwise happy, the young girl's two grandparents, mother, two sisters and one brother are all living under the one roof, and things take a turn for the slightly odd in reaction to her death. With friends, neighbours and social workers now paying more attention to them than they'd like, the family clamp shut, and we're given an inside view of why they're so secretive, and that view is horrifically dark.
With the death of a young girl, things start off with a Virgin Suicides vibe, before segueing into similarities with fellow Greek odd family drama Dogtooth, but it's not long until the morbidly bizarre nature of the story suffocates all light from proceedings. When your brain finally clues onto the Josef Friztl similarities, you'll probably want to get up and leave the cinema right then and there, but the want of knowing just how much worse things are going to get for the family, and if there is any chance of hope for the victims will keep you glued in your chair.
Filmed with a lifeless, clinical manner that forces the viewer to do all of the emotional heavy-lifting, we're presented with the genial, polite face of evil, and the chilling realisation that this kind of stuff is happening right under your nose.
To repeat, this is a very good, potentially very important movie, while also being a movie that is so far from the idea of entertainment that its almost beyond recommendation. A must-watch, but at your own peril.