Thursday, August 27, 2020

In Jay Baruchel's ugly-as-sin RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE, slashing is touted then trashed

You've got to hand it to co-writer/director Jay Baruchel (an actor I've much enjoyed over the years): He has given us a slasher movie riddled with guts 'n gore and then made that movie about as ugly as it could be -- in everything from its story and theme to its sets and cinematography. 

Best of all, while RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE offers a comic-book series of bloody, brutal killings based on supposedly-real-life-but-actually-fictional events that drenches its readers in horror, while delivering the same thing in the movie itself, it also manages to target the comic book artist and his business partner/producer as damnable agents of this horror. No one here gets out unscathed. In fact, just about no one here gets out -- period.

Baruchel's star is that hunky actor Jesse Williams, as Todd (below, second from left), a successful comic book artist having some trouble finding the correct conclusion for his final issue. He and his girlfriend Kathy (Jordana Brewster, below, left) are off to Comic-Con, along with his partner/producer (played by Baruchel, shown in directing mode at right) and artist/assistant (Niamh Wilson, below, right), the latter of whom, when she sees anything disturbing, must then draw it on paper to help get it out of her conscious mind.

Turns out that Kathy is currently writing a book about all the victims of this slasher/killer, and at each stop along their road trip, something increasingly horrible happens that apes far too closely what has earlier appeared in Todd's comic, which is  turn is based on those even earlier real-life murders.

So here we have art imitating life, and life (or in this case death) imitating art, with events moving from ghastlier to gorier in no time flat. Normally TrustMovies is not a big fan of either slasher movies or gore-fests like this one. Even now, I can't really call myself a fan of Random Acts of Violence. Yet the movie did hold the attention of both my spouse and me because of its sheer ugliness and refusal to make things easy on the audience.

And if you accuse the film of glamorizing the violence, Baruchel and crew make certain that everyone pays for their part in it all, including, I believe, us viewers. And certainly it does not excuse or in any way champion comic book violence nor the nitwit movie shit that this violence engenders. 

Everything about the film -- from its writing and direction to the colors, costumes, sets, cinematography, editing and special effects -- simply reeks of ugliness, horror and decay.  I almost think that Random Acts of Violence just might put viewers off slasher films in perpetuity. And though this may not sound like it, I mean that statement as a compliment.

We should be so lucky. Meanwhile, the movie, from AMC's SHUDDER, the subscription service for horror, thriller and suspense genres, and running just 80 minutes, is available now for viewing. Click here for more info and how to watch. 

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