Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

SEE THE NEWEST CONTENT BELOW!

Monday, August 24, 2020

[Review] ‘Random Acts of Violence’ is a Brutal and Merciless Slasher from Jay Baruchel

Don’t let the image above fool you. Jay Baruchel‘s(!) Random Acts of Violence is not a fun road trip horror-comedy. It is a brutal and merciless slasher that marks the director’s second directorial effort (his first being 2017’s Goon: Last of the Enforcers). It wants to have a conversation about the effects of media violence on the general populace, and it does so to varying degrees of success. It’s unclear which side of the argument the film falls on, however, as it raises several points on the subject but leaves the final decision up to the viewer. Still, one can’t deny that Baruchel wants to make the audience feel something, and in that regard, he succeeds. Just what that feeling is will be up for debate.

Adapted from Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti‘s one-shot graphic novel of the same name, Random Acts of Violence sees Todd Walker (Jesse WilliamsThe Cabin in the Woods, TV’s Grey’s Anatomy) struggling with a classic case of writer’s block. His comic series “Slasherman”, which is based on a series of real-life murders (in the film) that took place in the late ’80s and early ’90s, is coming to an end and he doesn’t know how to end his story. His publisher Ezra (Baruchel) gives him the idea to have a press tour in the town where the murders took place to see if it inspires him. Joining them for the road trip is Todd’s assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson) and Todd’s girlfriend Kathy (Jordana Brewster, The FacultyThe Fast & the Furious franchise), who is doing research for a book she is writing from perspective of Slasherman’s victims. Unfortunately, the real Slasherman gets wind of Todd’s presence, and the killings start again.

Baruchel and co-screenwriter Jesse Chabot were hired by Kickstart Comics to write the adaptation back in 2011, but it just went into production in 2018. It’s unclear what took so long to get the project off the ground, but my hunch is that the mean-spiritedness of the film might have something to do with it. It’s not an easy sell, but helping matters is that, at least up until the third act, the film actually does contribute to the conversation it’s trying to have. Random Acts of Violence has a lot to say on the influence of media violence (and how real-world violence influences the media), but by the time the third act rolls around it fails to make a commitment to any sort of argument it’s trying to make. Brief attempts are made to condemn Todd for appropriating a real-life tragedy for the sake of entertainment, but the film once again fails to commit to either side of the argument. Though perhaps that’s the point?

To top things off, a reveal in the third act unveils a massive plot hole that is never touched on or explained. It’s not a film-ruiner by any means, but it invites scrutiny that distracts from the gruesomeness happening on screen. Not having read the source material myself, I can’t help but wonder if significant cuts were made in the transition from page to screen. The film sports a brief 80-minute runtime, but this is one of those cases where an extra 10-15 minutes of exposition or character-building might have helped unmuddle the film’s message.

What does work in the film, however, are its murder set pieces. In terms of sheer brutality, they call to mind something you might see in David Fincher’s Zodiac. From the sound design to the amount of blood spilled on screen, you feel every stab, slash, slice and decapitating kick to the face. This isn’t to say that Baruchel is on the same level as Fincher when it comes to cinematic style, but he nails the savage nature of murder. Despite its title, Random Acts of Violence‘s depictions of graphic violence serve to vilify, rather than glorify, the violence it showcases. It’s a helpful(?) reminder that violence isn’t pretty. That being said, the film will no doubt be off-putting to some viewers. I counted about eight walkouts in my screening alone.

Baruchel shows some flair for visual style. You see, Christmas plays an important role in Todd’s backstory, so surreal red and green lighting is abundant. Unfortunately, that backstory isn’t fully revealed until the last 10 minutes of the film, so it comes across more as a way to look cool than a way to actually add anything to the story. It’s a case of style over substance, especially when you consider that there isn’t much style on display other than these giallo-esque sequences. Those sequences sure do look pretty, though.

Random Acts of Violence will not work for everyone. Reconciling the on-screen violence with the screenplay’s possible condemnation of appropriating a tragedy for the sake of entertainment will be a difficult challenge for some viewers. The film will no doubt elicit strong reactions from viewers, and that’s what Baruchel wants. It’s honestly quite shocking that he had this film in him. Random Acts of Violence is not a great movie, but there’s enough on display here to make you want to see what the director has cooking in his twisted little brain next.

Random Acts of Violence is now streaming on Shudder.

Editor’s Note: This Fantastic Fest review was originally published on September 30, 2019.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/reviews/3583793/fantastic-fest-review-random-acts/

No comments:

Post a Comment


Support Us!
$2
$3
$5
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



The Top 10 Streaming Scary Movies of Today (According to Netflix)

Given that Netflix really is the master of their own data, how many times a viewer streams The Ridiculous 6, or what films don't get watched all the way straight through, or how many times someone watches an episode of Bill Nye Saves the World, it was easy for them to come up with the list based on just one percentage: 70 percent.

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!


3 Frightening Clowns Not from the Underworld or Magical Hell


3 Viral Videos Proving Spiders Are Still Scary as Hell


Stephen King Adores These 22 Horror Films


3 Super Stories on 'Halloween' and Horror That'll Make You Want to Wear the Mask

xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'