A young girl wanders a savage desert wasteland in a dystopian future United States, in Ana Lily Amirpour’s highly anticipated follow-up to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Vanguard

The Bad Batch

Ana Lily Amirpour

A girl walks across a cannibal-infested desert at midday.... Ana Lily Amirpour's highly anticipated follow-up to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night feints in the direction of sensationalistic horror — and, be forewarned, blood is spilled and limbs are hacked — but The Bad Batch, like Amirpour's deliciously low-key debut, uses genre as a springboard for high style and social commentary.

The aforementioned girl (Suki Waterhouse) is one of thousands of Americans deemed unacceptable to civilized society. While wandering in her desert exile, she is captured by a community of cannibals. She manages to escape, soon ending up at a very different enclave of outcasts. Our heroine is safe here, but still does not quite feel that she has found her tribe.

On an excursion beyond the gates of her new shelter, she encounters one of her former cannibal captors (Jason Momoa), who ends up requiring her help. But can she do it without one of them getting slaughtered in the human-eat-human world where savagery is considered central to survival?

Many of the film's pleasures are in its details, like a boombox-shaped DJ booth and a cannibal camp in an airplane cemetery. But what makes The Bad Batch meaty is the way Amirpour subtly steeps her premise in politics. There's no mistaking the exclusionary policies of this imagined America for anything less than a cautionary vision of where the real America could go if left unchecked.

JANE SCHOETTLE

Thu 08

Scotiabank 12

Press
3:15pm
Tue 13

Ryerson Theatre

Regular
9:00pm
Wed 14

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Regular
3:15pm
Fri 16

Scotiabank 10

Industry
10:15am
Sun 18

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Regular
8:45pm