For the Sake of the Vicious Film Review

Who does not like a little bloodshed in their Halloween flicks? Well, Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen certainly deliver the goods in For the Sake of the Vicious, a film that chronicles one hellish night as an unlikely trio finds themselves fighting for their life against masked thugs.

For the Sake of the Vicious is one of those films that creep up on the audience, first portraying itself as an intense murder/mystery before transitioning to the high-octane assault that makes up the bulk of the runtime. The plot, which revolves a man trying to avenge the death of his daughter, exists only to draw a clear moral line between hero and villain. As such, the story is non-consequential and arguably meaningless – existing only to add fuel to the brutality that follows.

Envision hammers to the face, slit throats, glass ground into the face, and head bashing with a crowbar and you will begin to get an idea of how reliant the production is on extreme content. A truly relentless assault once it kicks into gear, For the Sake of the Vicious offers up nail-biting action. In addition, the film captures the graphic grittiness found in the best of exploitation cinema – the knife always lingers along the neck before taking the deep plunge. The violence within aims to capture a realistic intensity that will find an appreciative audience.

The violence is complimented by a throbbing electronic score that elevates in intensity,  adding a dizzying aesthetic as synths crash as the screen fills with blood. Furthermore, the cinematography adds to the unsettling nature of the film by making confined spaces mini battlegrounds. Notably, the duel to the death in the bathroom with knives, a hammer, a gun, and a toilet seat is one of the better up-close fight scenes committed to celluloid. 

The glorious violence meticulously crafted by Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen is easy to get lost in, yet the film is not without its obvious shortcomings. As mentioned, the plot is secondary and feels like an afterthought to the chaotic vision that dominates the experience. Despite how rewarding the transition is, there is no denying that the opening of the film is rather dull despite its sensational premise – the first 20 minutes act as something viewers will have to overcome.

The performances, unfortunately, mimic the aimless opening leaving the performances feeling uninspired until the chaos kick in. Notably, Nick Smyth’s (Chris) transformation from disturbed dad into a full-blown killing machine is ‘pretty f**ing bad-a**’. Stabbed to s***, Chris manages to push through gnarly injuries to dish out the glorious violence (maybe for his audition they just asked him to fight a man). 

Focused heavily on presenting graphic content as gristly as possible, For the Sake of the Vicious will appeal to the gore-hound who loves gritty realism in their films. Personally, as a cinephile who is enamored by the exploitation genre, this was a pretty wonderful amalgamation of sensationalism and scares that I can’t wait to revisit again in the future – one of the better Shudder originals you will come across.


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