Random Acts of Violence (2019) reviews and overview

 
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[Total: 46   Average: 2.3/5]

Random Acts of Violence is a 2019 American road trip slasher horror feature film about a graphic novel creator who is stalked by one of his demented fans.

Directed by and co-starring Jay Baruchel from a screenplay co-written with Jesse Chabot, based on a graphic novel by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, the Elevation Pictures-Manis Film production also stars Jordana Brewster (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Jesse Williams and Aviva Mongillo.

Plot:

Todd Walkley (Jesse Williams) and his publisher Ezra (Jay Baruchel) made their careers crafting a comic book based on a real-life serial killer called Slasherman. On a press tour to announce the launch of their final issue, they visit the town where Slasherman wreaked havoc twenty years earlier.

Upon their arrival, a series of new murders unfold… It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using Todd’s ‘Slasherman’ comic as inspiration for the killings and as the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends and family become victims themselves, he is forced to take artistic responsibility…

Press blurb:

Random Acts of Violence is an elevated slasher horror that will easily become a cult favourite; scratching the entertainment element of horror whilst searching for the deeper meaning behind the violence.

The sad truth is that horror has turned stagnant – a warehouse for outdated ideas and misogyny apologists. A lot of these ills have been here for a while, some are new trends. Either way, the vast majority of horror flicks feature characters nobody cares about, in cynically engineered circumstances that fetishize cruelty.”

Release:

The film premiered at Fantastic Fest in December 2019. On August 20, 2020, it will stream on Shudder in the US, UK and Ireland. In Canada, the film is released in theatres and on-demand on July 31.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

Random Acts of Violence may not say anything new, but it’s quick, bloody, and brimming with some genuinely solid practical effects. Avoid if squeamish, hug your dog, and maybe look away for a couple scenes if the phrase “gut garland” makes you make a face.” Birth. Movies. Death.

” …the framing Baruchel gives Random Acts of Violence, a film labouring towards so-called truth in art so as to avoid what’s deemed “masturbation,” is laughable rather than laudable. Near its end, it’s said that “true art is made by inflicting pain on others.” Well, if that’s the case, mission accomplished—but there’s no way I’m going to declare this as anything other than a mess.” Brief Take

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.” Bloody Disgusting

“The film is a fun slasher with some gorgeous kill tableaus that might make Hannibal blush, but leave him less than obsessed with the flat killer. The film tries to subvert horror tropes but does a better job showcasing them than rising above them.” CGM

“Skip this. I cannot recommend this film. It’s just not any good and sadly whatever you think of the above trailer/clip don’t bother with the 78 minutes and 30 seconds left on this. It’s anemic and toothless “horror” schlock.” Film Snob Reviews

” …a surprisingly cerebral slasher, helped in no small part by Williams in the lead. An atypical hero, this gives him a strong starring turn as the conflicted artist-hero who is trying to work out some long-repressed trauma through his creation, even if he’s turned his demons into a kind of cultish anti-hero. The film has something interesting to say about the responsibility of artists…” JoBlo

“Guts are spilled, heads are severed, and the film also repeatedly confronts Todd about his decision to make the Slasherman comics in the first place, as it appears he’s being disrespectful and exploiting tragedy for his own gain. The people who bash Slasherman do have a point. I’ll watch and enjoy slasher movies all day, but if a movie that claims to be telling the story of a real killer goes too far with the exploitation, I tune out.” Life Between Frames

“When he’s not forcing audiences to confront their media-fueled bloodlust, the filmmaker sticks to a late-‘90s aesthetic; if you’ve ever seen an unrated direct-to-video release from the era, you’ll feel right at home with the red filters and off-kilter angles. The result is a film whose parts may be slightly better than the whole.” The Playlist

“Along with a potent meta look at the genre, Baruchel has also crafted a full-blooded horror film with Random Acts of Violence. The killings are brutal and unflinchingly bloody (skin-crawling prosthetic work by Paul Jones), and Baruchel successfully navigates the biggest challenge of this particular material: He films the murders so as to emphasize their tragedy, rather than to excite or titillate the audience.” Rue Morgue

“This might divide horror fans looking for some stylish splatter, but I found it genuinely thrilling to watch Random Acts Of Violence refuse to slot itself into a recognizable genre framework, and just push forward with its mission. Baruchel knows what he’s doing, steering the action into messier, nastier territory and dragging the viewer along with him.” Straight

“Baruchel wants horror fans to consider why they find the genre entertaining. Maybe he should look at why he finds the real-life violence of hockey goons, excuse me, enforcers, something to celebrate and laugh about. Divorced from its preaching, Random Acts of Violence is a solid horror film with a truly nightmarish climax.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Jordana Brewster … Kathy
Jay Baruchel … Ezra
Jesse Williams … Todd Walkley
Aviva Mongillo … Hannah
Niamh Wilson … Aurora
Nia Roam … Megan
Julia Knope … Teenage Girl
Simon Northwood … The Man
Chris Gleason … Fetish Male
Bobby Brown
Isaiah Rockcliffe … Young Todd

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