​world exclusive: watch the trailer for gritty brit drama the violators

Rising star Lauren McQueen plays Shelly, a teenager dealing with abusive relationships, mysterious new friends and estate life on the outskirts of the North West’s urban sprawl.

by Charlotte Gush
19 May 2016, 9:19am

"Who ya hiding from, kid?" asks a disembodied voice near the end of the trailer for The Violators, premiering today exclusively on i-D. The answer could be any one of a number of characters who are somewhat uncomfortably interested in Shelly's bleak existence on an estate on the outskirts of the North West's urban sprawl: her abusive father straight out of prison, a creepy older boyfriend, or her strangely obsessive new friend Rachel.

The Violators is the directorial debut of Helen Walsh, who also wrote the script. As an award-winning author, Walsh is known for gritty novels including Brass (about a teenage girl sex addict) and Once Upon a Time in England (about a mixed race family struggling against brutal racism), and for own eventful adolescence: a model student, until she discovered ecstasy and acid house at 13, hit the clubs hard and moved to Barcelona where she worked as a fixer in a cross-dresser bar, setting up punters with prostitutes.

Featuring rising stars Lauren McQueen and Brogan Ellis, The Violators looks to be in a similar vein to films like Andrea Arnold's acclaimed drama Fish Tank. Shelly [McQueen] is living on a rundown estate in Cheshire, on the outskirts of Liverpool and Manchester, having moved there after testifying against her abusive father. She attracts the attention of a local loan shark [Stephen Lord], as well as the mysterious Rachel [Ellis], who watches her as she roams around the estate and docklands. The shock news that her father is set to be released from prison forces Shelly down a path that will affect all three of their fates, with the film serving as a "meditation on the meaning of home, and the potency and fragility of young girls' sexuality".

The Violators is released in UK cinemas and on demand on 17 June.


Text Charlotte Gush

world exclusive
helen walsh
lauren mcqueen
the violators
brogan ellis