Fantasia 2020 Review: ‘For the Sake of Vicious’

If you tried to describe For The Sake Of Vicious in one sentence – well, you can’t. The movie takes a lot of horror themes and mixes it in a pot of a mostly coherent, thrilling, and tension building affair. Usually, horror movies themed around Halloween have to deal with ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. Here, the real evil is based around the human psyche and how it reacts to the need for revenge and violence around it.

Romina (Lora Burke) who is a nurse is preparing to go home after a long shift and take her son trick-or-treating. Upon her arrival, she sees a man named Alan (Colin Paradine) beaten unconscious, and Chris (Nick Smyth) is in a disheveled, manic state looking for revenge. Alan is supposedly guilty of something pertaining to Chris and his family, and a confession is sought after with some torture mixed in. Co-Directors Reese Eveneshen and Gabriel Carrer structure this movie with an escalation factor – giving nods to themes of suspense, interrogation, home invasion, and then straight up violence. These three characters know each other through one horrible instance. As the story divulges into what happens, each of the characters loses a bit of their humanity.

The first act and part of the second show the heated exchanges between Chris and Alan. Scenes are shot tight to the character’s faces to heighten the stakes of emotion. Romina gets caught in the middle of all of it, and there are only specific parts that show all three characters in frame. Through all of this, the atmosphere in the house feels like it’s prime for an emotional explosion. Something has to give – and that inhibits the shift in the third act. For The Sake Of Vicious lives up to its name and turns into a bloodbath. A group of bikers advances in the house and whatever discretion that was done from the beginning goes out the window.

Sound design and music are essential building blocks when it pertains to certain parts of the movie. A scene in the movie occurs where the music drops out and the only thing you hear is breathing between a set of characters. Eveneshen and Carrer both understand tautness – to where the music (or lack thereof) becomes another character to exalt the anxiety.

Within the overall story, there’s a connection that’s implied with Romina that comes full circle as she shifts from an unexpected mediator to fighting for her own survival. Some of that may get lost in the amount of hell-breaking loose in the third act of the movie. Maybe the message is that nobody comes out of revenge practices, whether innocent or not, unscathed. There are some action scenes that come as a mixed bag – on one hand, the tighter shots give a greater emphasis on the kills – are well done for a movie that got completed in only 15 days. However, parts may linger for too long sometimes. As our characters get battered and beaten, the movie bases a real spotlight on their exasperation that you can deliberate just from the injuries they received.

It’s hard for movies to do one theme right. For The Sake Of Vicious takes a bunch of horror tropes that fans love and distill them into an hour and 15-minute movie that will give lovers of each genre it dives into something to be entertained by.

Photo Credit: Federgreen Entertainment

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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Journalist, Self-published author of five books, podcast host, and photographer since 2014, Murjani Rawls has been stretching the capabilities of his creativity and passions, Rawls has as a portfolio spanning through many mediums including music, television, movies, and more. Operating out of the New York area, Rawls has photographed over 200+ artists spanning many genres, written over 700 articles ranging displaying his passionate aspirations to keep evolving as his years in media continue.

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