For those missing some horror in their movie diet, SHUDDER has you covered with the release of “Random Acts of Violence” on the 20th. This one is based on the 2010 graphic novel and follows a comic book creator, his wife, and a few friends that set out on a road-trip to New York Comic Con. But this is a horror movie, so of course things won’t go as planned. As they hit the open road people start getting killed and it soon becomes clear there is a crazed fan stalking them and recreating the killings from his comic.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie. It wasn’t perfect, and it felt a bit generic at times. Yet it also was more than enough to provide a fun, tension-filled ride in the slasher genre. It’s fast paced for the most part. It knows exactly what it is, and the result is plenty of bloody killing and suspense. When the violence hits it’s unrelenting. The camerawork from Baruchel creates an ominous mood. And while the story-line itself isn’t the most interesting, the cast deliver the needed effort to slightly elevate a B-Horror script.
I liked the practicality of the film. It doesn’t rely on special-effects. It feels like a throwback to older slasher flicks that used more practical make-up and effects work. The backdrops were also a nice addition as a well because of their simplicity. This group is on a road-trip from Toronto to New York, and I felt like the movie was able to pull me out on the roads with them. She where the story may have lacked intrigue, some of the smaller nuances of the movie did blend nicely to craft a serviceable horror romp.
The performances were all fine for their roles. The familiar faces do make the most out of cut-and-copy characters. Williams and Brewster bring the needed effort to create a couple characters you can invest in if just for surface level connections. There are many highly strenuous situations in this story. I think the experience of the performers were able to land the emotionally intense sequences without the usual overacting we often see in the genre.
There are a few interesting concepts explored in the story in terms of life imitating art, violence being legitimized for the sake of entertainment, and what responsibility is tied to the creators of violent comic-books and other forms of media. These themes aren’t completely explored, but they are introduced throughout to fuel the story. Regardless there are brief thought-provoking moments between littered in between all the killing. The run-time is short, it fills the story with plenty of murderous slaying, and for that aspect it was a solid one-time watch in my opinion.
This movie knows the characters are all disposable to some extent. The crafting of the violence and the splashes of gore were the focus, and they land nicely. I do think there were a couple lulls in the middle act as the story meandered around the characters a little too long, but it wasn’t a hindrance. I think putting the foot on the gas a little more and adding to the frequency of the killing would’ve helped this movie standout among it peers in the slasher genre. But in the end, it was still able to provide a collection of charmingly gory sequences. The final-act goes a little long and reveals a little much. I think some things being left for mystery could’ve added something here, but as it was “Random Acts of Violence” was an adequate ride in the slasher genre.
Anthony Digioia – SilverScreen Analysis © All Rights Reserved