For the Sake of Vicious  – ★★★★

For the Sake of Vicious – ★★★★

Welcome to your new favourite cult midnight movie. For the Sake of Vicious is a film that wears its bloody heart on its sleeve and, after a tense filled opening half, let’s loose in ways that will either have you winching or clapping your hands in glee. Writer/director duo Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen have made an astoundingly brutal film, and thank goodness they did.

It’s Halloween night, and nurse Romina (Lora Burke) just wants to relax after a hard day. Suddenly all hell breaks loose when desperate Chris (Nick Smyth) breaks in demanding angry justice for wrongdoing from the past. The crazed intruder is owed a debt of blood and wants a mystery confession from his hostage Alan (Colin Paradine).

One of the best compliments you can give to For the Sake of Vicious is that at no point can you ever get a grasp of what is going to happen next. For a film as small as this, it has to be applauded for the directions it keeps taking. As Romina tries to work out what to do once Chris has Alan where he wants him, you think that the film will be a thriller between these three characters and with the quality of the trio, it most certainly could go down that direction. Writer/Directors Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen decide that that will only be sufficient for this film’s first act and send their audience down a wholly different and gruesome direction. It is one that you are all in with.

Fantasia 2020] FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS -- A Nasty Thriller with Phenomenal  Stunt Work - disappointment media

That first act is riveting; however, Romina knows she should stop this madness and get Chris off the ledge before he goes too far. Yet, she knows by trying to interfere, she may get caught up in the damage and is firmly stuck between a rock and a hard place. As emotions begin to rise, all three actors get the time and are given the right moments to shine. Colin Paradine perfectly plays the role of a man who we are pretty sure is innocent, but his demeanour throughout causes us to have a great sense of doubt, and if we have even a bit of doubt, how much does Romina have?

Lora Burke is impressive as we really feel for her in this predicament and as the night continues. She is a victim of merely renting out her garage and being on the wrong shift years prior. Burke also gets to get her licks in, leaving her not only emotionally vulnerable but physically too. Nick Smyth drives the film as the grieving, vengeful father who gets to take his anger out on Alan and those who come into the house after that.

As said, this slow build in the first act leads you to believe that the film will stay with the three and violence and desperation will grow further as tides will turn depending on who has the upper hand at the time. Once that call is made, their worlds are turned around, and the film takes that hard, hard left turn.

Fantasia 2020 - For the Sake of Vicious - Hold onto your teeth | CGMagazine

The action scenes that come are as brutal as you will see, and thanks to the tight quarters of the house, they provide everything that happens to give a true sense of reality to it. It also allows the Director of photography Alex Tong to find the weirdest of angles to shot from. One fight scene has him viewing it from a couple of steps up, delivering a tremendous downward angle. Each connection, be it with a fist or a hammer.

The downside to this, of course, is that the narrative takes a massive hit. Once Romina and Chris start to battle their way through the intruders and the non-stop action commences. We are merely waiting to see who will survive and how they will. This is such as shame as if there were more of a connection between the two halves of For the Sake of Vicious, then the entire piece would feel tenser. With that lack of a connection, we just sit and shock as this tiny house becomes a bloodbath. Having such differing halves, you really have to hope the audience has stuck with you by revealing your films true self.

Now to the film’s credit, what we do get is astonishing for the production’s size; Tong’s camera is so tight, you feel as if you are on top of the characters as they swing with everything they have. Storywise, the film is lacking, but after the second action scene. You really will not care as nothing can prepare you for what comes here in this perfectly staged thriller. Those who love special practical effects are in for such a treat here, and without a doubt, this brings us a film that was not afraid to go where others dare not. This is a knockout of a movie.

FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS [FrightFest October 2020] - STARBURST Magazine

The score here helps navigate between the two halves and never tries to supersede what is on the screen. Keeping itself in the background (as a good score should) elevates the film and becomes a perfect compliment. However, when it needs to raise itself, it does so with gusto and almost feels as if it was there to help motivate characters into carrying out what they do as a means to survive.

Go into For the Sake of Vicious as blind as you possibly can; I have tried to keep it as spoiler-free as possible. Ignore trailers, as much as you can (ironic, I know for someone who has written a review and really wants you to get this far into it). Still, if you can stay spoiler-free as possible, the rewards for this hard-hitting and brutal film is endless.

Signature Entertainment presents For the Sake of Vicious on DVD & Digital Platforms 19th April.


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