VICIOUS FUN (2020) Reviews and overview

 

Vicious Fun is a 2020 Canadian comedy horror film about a young man that becomes trapped in a self-help group for serial killers.

Directed by Cody Calahan (The Oak Room; Let Her Out; Antisocial and Antisocial 2; et al) from a screenplay written by James Villeneuve.

The Breakthrough Entertainment-Black Fawn Films-Particular Crowd co-production stars Evan Marsh, Amber Goldfarb, Ari Millen, Julian Richings (Anything for Jackson; Spare Parts; Wrong Turn; et al), Robert Maillet, Sean Baek and David Koechner.

The soundtrack score was composed by Steph Copeland (I’ll Take Your Dead; The Heretics; Let Her Out; The Dwelling; Antisocial and its sequel).

Plot:

Joel (Evan Marsh), a caustic 1980s film critic for a national horror magazine, finds himself unwittingly trapped in a self-help group for serial killers. With no other choice, Joel attempts to blend in or risk becoming the next victim…

Background:

Vicious Fun was hands-down the most entertaining set I’ve ever been on,” explains director Cody Calahan. “It was an extremely collaborative process right across the board, from the talent on the screen to the talent behind the scenes. We wanted to make something nostalgic, hilarious, and a film that was just flat-out fun. I think we accomplished that.”

Reviews:

“ …Vicious Fun could use more zip on its lip, particularly since it is so interplay oriented. A couple of one-liners did make me laugh out loud though. My enthusiasm might not have waned as often as it did if the film kept its comedic edge slicing with one smooth cut instead of only jabbing here and there.” Culture Crypt

” …early misgivings are outliers because once Vicious Fun hits its stride, it’s both vicious and fun. Incredibly well-crafted, there’s a sense of tactility to the action […] Most indies suffer in this regard, never achieving any semblance of tangibility to the stunt work or effects, but Vicious Fun’s violence and choreography hit hard.” Dread Central

“Although really good throughout, Vicious Fun never becomes great. That’s a shame. All of the ingredients are there, with the only thing lacking maybe a bit of daring or confidence. Mind you, it is easier to be daring and more confident when you have more money to play around with. At least you still get some memorable characters, a witty script, and a few decent kills…” For It Is Man’s Number

“A less than likeable hero and (mostly) forgettable kills aside, any horror fan who has been seeking something with that fun, horror movie party vibe similar to Friday the 13th Part 3 is going to find a gruesome gem in Vicious Fun. This is the kind of film that slays at slumber parties and is destined to be one of the best horror comedies of the year.” Killer Horror Critic

“Flying along from start to finish the limited locations are wonderfully utilised and the pace never drops even when the tale shifts from one setting to another […]  With big laughs and nasty gore Vicious Fun is a horror comedy that delivers on both fronts.” Love Horror

“It’s synth-drenched pandemonium made with equal parts heart and wit, and horror fans owe it to themselves to seek it out […] Vicious Fun isn’t overly concerned with justifying its decisions or even answering every question […] This is a film that prioritizes fun–vicious fun–and in that regard, it’s an undeniable success.” Modern Horrors

“It’s fun. Sure, a lot of the entertainment value in this movie comes from the kills. But, as Vicious Fun escalates and the scenario slips away from Joel it gets funnier and funnier. There is humor focused on Joel being the fish out of water, the case of mistaken identity and his organic response to the violence around him.” Screen Anarchy

“The twisting, turning script finds several surprises through its long, dark night of self-help, balancing cliched dumb cops – who don’t see why the killers would have anything against them – and gory deaths with a sharp skewering of outdated genre sensibilities. It’s all served up with heaps of neon and synth music, while Walsh makes Joel just likeable enough that you root for him…” VODzilla

Release:

Vicious Fun began its festival run with an opening night slot at the 2020 Sitges Film Festival as part of the Panorama Fantastic section.

The film is streaming on Shudder from June 29th, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Evan Marsh … Joel
Amber Goldfarb … Carrie
Ari Millen … Bob
Julian Richings … Fritz
Robert Maillet … Mike
Sean Baek … Hideo
David Koechner … Zachary
Alexa Rose Steele … Sarah
Kristopher Bowman … Detective Foyle
Mark Gibson … Detective Hollands
John Fray … Officer Tony
Joe Bostick … Phil
Kameron Louangxay … Bartender
Earl ‘Bubba’ McLean Jr. … Cabbie
Craig Brown … The Clerk

Filming locations:

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Technical details:

101 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Trailer:

Clip:

Title theme:

MOVIES and MANIA says:

Vicious Fun is just that: vicious and fun. The dark humour and gory kills are a grim delight. The soundtrack score by Steph Copeland is also cool. Unfortunately, Evan Marsh’s lead character Joel is annoying and the scene where he quaffs an unbelievable amount of alcohol (which would, frankly, cause anyone to have to be comatose) is just silly and sets the wrong tone as he then recovers so rapidly. That said, Amber Goldfarb is great as are all the serial killer characters. Vicious Fun is definitely a recommend but be aware you have to suffer Joel.

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