The Violators

The Violators

Helen Walsh (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Acclaimed novelist Helen Walsh makes an accomplished directorial debut with this twisting, if frustratingly melodramatic rite of passage set against Birkenhead's decaying docklands. Despite being the middle child, 15 year-old school dropout Lauren McQueen cares for brothers Derek Barr and Callum King Chadwick while their father is behind bars. Disturbed to learn of his imminent parole, she seeks the protection of scheming pawnbroker Stephen Lord, who seems a safer bet than handsome neighbour Liam Ainsworth. However, McQueen is about to learn a lesson in trust that is harshened by the actions of well-heeled new friend, Brogan Ellis. Wrenchingly outlining the limited options facing teenage girls on the lower rung, Walsh conveys the predatory nature of McQueen's relationships with an Andrea Arnold-like acuity that makes the exposure of Ellis's motives feel all the more disappointingly generic. The young leads are excellent, however, as is first-time cinematographer Tobin Jones, who eschews the grimy greys of traditional northern realism to capture the everyday locales in plangently living colour.


Shelly, a 15-year-old petty crook is rehoused to a sink estate after testifying against her abusive father. She begins a relationship with a local loan shark, while another teenager becomes fixated with her. When Shelly's father is released from prison, it has devastating consequences for them all. Drama, starring Lauren McQueen and Brogan Ellis.

Cast & Crew

Shelly Lauren McQueen
Rachel Brogan Ellis
Andy Derek Barr
Mikey Stephen Lord (2)
Jerome Callum King Chadwick
Director Helen Walsh
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: BulldogGuidance: Swearing, sexual references.Available on: DVDReleased on: 17 Jun 2016