Random Acts of Violence                review by Bobby Blakey

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Jay Baruchel has had a great career with films likes the How To Train Your Dragon franchise, the hilariously underrated TV series Man Seeking Woman and tons of great films. In addition he has delivered behind the camera as well writing the two films in the Goon series as well as directing the second film Goon: Last of the Enforcers. Now he is pulling dual duty once again co-writing, directing and starring in the film Random Acts of Violence. The film co-stars Jesse Williams, Jordana Brewster, and Niamh Wilson based on the comic of the same name by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. Could this flick live up to the title or should it have stayed on the page?

Random Acts of Violence follows comic book creator Todd Walkley, his wife, assistant and best friend, are heading to NYC Comic Con when bad things start to happen—people start getting killed. It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using his “SLASHERMAN” comic as inspiration for the killings. And as the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends become victims themselves, he is forced to face the killer and put an end to his notorious comic once and for all. I have never read the comic source material, but the concept and Baruchel was enough to get me interested. I dived in and right out of the gate realized this is a different kind of horror film and was all kinds of fun.

 

The film takes an interesting direction in the slasher genre bringing some elements that reminded me of Seven fused with a bit of Texas Chainsaw Massacre at times to create a perfect entry into the genre. Baruchel has crafted a great flick that not only brings the insanity, but some interesting twists and turns keeping you guessing all while having all the answers right there in front of you. I want to dive into that comic to see how close it stuck to the source material, but no matter it is just such a fun flick that was more than I expected.

 

The cast were all good, but it was Jesse Williams that had to carry the bulk of the load and does so with a tormented yet sensitive persona that sucks you in and spits you out throughout the film. I love that while there is mystery here

there is also so many hints to what is going on. A film like this has to have a good killer as well and this one while not anything standout works to perfection for the story it is telling. They are not trying to create some supernatural slasher flick but instead one with some grounding in reality while still pushing the limits of sanity.

 

Sure there are times I wished it had pushed the boundaries more and infused more unexpected twists and turns, but the finished product still delivers. I loved this movie and the direction it went. Without knowing the source material I have to just judge it based on this film and for that it worked for me and I hope it finds the audience it deserves.

 

Check out Random Acts of Violence when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on February 16th from RLJE Films and Shudder.