​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.

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Text Charlotte Gush

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Culture
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world exclusive
helen walsh
lauren mcqueen
the violators
brogan ellis