If you’ve ever wanted to know what would go down if the Salem Witch Trials happened in the midst of the #MeToo Movement, then Assassination Nation is your answer. There’s a lot to untangle in Sam Levinson’s feminist revenge fantasy. An ambitious but somewhat chaotic film, Levinson invites his audience into Salem—an American suburb where real horrors lie in everyone’s cell phone histories, downloads, and clouds. Four young women stand at the center of Assassination Nation: Lily (Odessa Young), and her best friends, Bex (Hari Nef), Sarah (Suki Waterhouse) and Em (Abra). Despite her close bond with her friends, Lily is keeping one secret close to her chest: she’s carrying on an illicit affair with an unnamed older, married gentleman who she refers to as Daddy. Walking a delicate line between her hidden and public life, Lily is also trying to balance her increasingly fractured relationship with her misogynist high school boyfriend, Mark (Bill Skårsgard). Things begin to splinter for Lily and the rest of the town when an anonymous hacker starts dumping all of Salem’s phone and computer data on the internet en masse.
The leak starts with the homophobic mayor (Cullen Moss), who gets his hidden sex life -– including his Craigslist hookups with men, and his love for lingerie — exposed, causing him to blow out his brains in a town hall. Soon after, the hacker sets their sights on the high school principal (Colman Domingo). One of the few Black faces in a mostly white town, Principal Turrell is run out of Salem after being labeled a pedophile for having pictures of his six-year-old daughter at bathtime in his phone. As the intricate secrets and search history of 17,000 people in the town become public, Salemites spiral out of control. The scandal eventually catches up with Lily and her older man when their sexting and sultry photos leak.
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