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 find themselves fighting for their life against masked thugs.
For the Sake of the Vicious is one of those films that creeps 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 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, 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, plot is secondary and feels like an afterthought to the chaotic vision the 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 acting as something viewers will have to overcome.
The performances, unfortunately, mimics 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.
More from Shudder
The breakdown of friendships into the realm of horror has always been a theme fascinating me; the amount of paranoia needed to turn an object of comfort into terror being…
“A crew of hardy road workers, led by a bickering father and son, must survive the night when they accidentally awaken an ancient Irish vampire.” All horror legends begin with…
The Etheria Film Festival, or Etheria Film Night, is an annual film festival to showcase the latest short films by female directors. The first Festival was founded in 2014 by…
It was about halfway through watching Rob Jabbaz’s debut feature The Sadness that I realized I was in the hands of a maniac. Taipei resident Kat (Regina Lei) is hiding…
Greetings, My name is Adam and I am from Canada.
My love for all things bizarre came at a young age, as boredom in a small town lead me down a rabbit hole of obscure film, music, tv and literature. I have carried these fascinations with and turned it into a passion for writing, sharing and discussing the various arts.
My area of expertise, if there was one, would be geared towards Asian horror with a particular interest in film and manga. However, if it is odd, disturbing or trashy I probably heard of it or can at least pretend I have in conversation.
Thank you for taking the time to read my work, I always look to grow both as a writer and fan. I truly appreciate anyone willing to come along for the journey and share their passions in turn.