What’s up horror fans! I’m back at it again with another new movie review! This time we’re diving into FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS. Prior to viewing this film I knew absolutely nothing about it. I tried not to read too much into the synopsis because from what I understood the director and producer (Reese Eveneshen, Gabriel Carrer) produce relentlessly brutal movies and I didn’t want to spoil it for myself. If you’ve read my previous reviews you know I’m all about the gore! Needless to say, I was stoked.
FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS takes place on Halloween night when a nurse comes home to find a crazed man who has taken a hostage in her home. As the night progresses they have to fight off an onslaught of intruders wearing Halloween masks in order to keep their lives.
Okay, so this movie gets straight into it. The first five minutes are tense and gripping and I found myself immediately hooked. Romina (Lora Burke) comes home to a pretty violent situation but parent mode kicks in after she receives a call from her son who’s upset she won’t be home to take him trick or treating. She keeps calm as the beaten man on the floor begins to seize up. She helps him move on his side while simultaneously keeping a calm tone with her son. That scene alone was like “Whoa, could you imagine putting yourself in that situation!?” If I wasn’t already hooked, that scene would have been the one to grab me.
The intruder that Romina encounters is named Chris (Nick Smyth) and his reasoning for bringing Alan (Colin Paradine), the hostage, into her home will actually feel reasonable to the viewer. If I’m being honest, I’d probably feel compelled to act as he did if I was living through the nightmare and trauma he had to endure with a family member. That statement there is enough to let you know that you can relate to the characters and feel for them through this messed up situation. Something as fucked as what Chris has experienced is enough to make somebody act outside of themselves. Specifically, violently. We come to learn that Chris and Alan’s lives are entwined in a super messed up situation that only furthers empathy towards Chris.
Now that you have an idea of how this all starts, let’s talk about how this film takes you down a rabbit hole. Alan mentions he can make a phone call that’ll fix the situation they have found themselves in. This is when the ultra violence begins with extreme images that the camera does not pull away from. For me, it felt very reminiscent of French New Wave Extremity films, like High Tension and Martyrs, without the same level of extreme cruelty. That said, there was one scene involving the beating of a person with a hammer that had me totally cringing. The violence in this film has purpose and isn’t just for the sake of torturing the viewer. Also, the fact that the film takes place during Halloween night will be a huge plus for a lot of other horror fans.
I had a chuckle when the scenes would switch from trick or treaters outside to what was going on inside Romina’s home, which made me realize just how messed up all of this was. It seemed fully intentional and was executed effectively. This movie does have similar aspects as other “home intruder” films I.e. tension, stress and not knowing what will happen next. The acting from all characters was superb and I literally felt for them in every shitty situation they found themselves in throughout the course of the film.
It doesn’t seem like something you’d really need to speak on for a film with this type of premise but the effects were fantastic. They all appeared to be practical (which you all know I love) and felt pretty damn realistic. I also enjoyed the use of cheap Halloween masks. I’ve always found those to be effective in horror flicks because they’re easily attainable and it makes the situation feel more real. The films soundtrack was what sounded like a blend of electronic house and synth wave which I was totally into. There were even scenes that were very intense but had music that made me dance in my seat a bit while watching. My foot was constantly bouncing during the duration of my viewing experience. The movie does continue to follow suit with a very brutal ending that I won’t spoil for ya!
I think it’s safe to say this movie is one of the best films I’ve seen so far this year. Two words “Throat Slash” could easily find it a home on Shudder. This movie is not for the faint of heart as it’s a brutal, relentless rollercoaster ride for your stomach that will simultaneously have you dancing on the edge of your seat. I know I’ll be seeking this movie out for purchase and can’t wait to talk about it on my podcast after it’s release! If you have the opportunity to check out the appropriately titled FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS, do not sleep on it!
FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS arrives in select theaters on April 16, On Demand April 20, and on Blu-ray May 4.