Review: Shudder's Random Acts of Violence


By Roxy Tart


RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE is produced and directed by Jay Baruchel, who wrote the screenplay with Jesse Chabot, and is a fun, bloody, and comic book delight. 

Comic book creator Todd (Jesse Williams), his business partner Ezra (Baruchel), his wife Kathy (Jordana Brewster), and his assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson) hit the road from their hometown of Toronto Canada, and head to New York Comic-Con. Unfortunately along the way, they make a few stops and soon realize that The Slasherman, the “hero” of Todd’s comic books, might be making his way off the pages and into their lives.

When I first heard about this film I was told it was about “murders that take place at New York Comic-Con”, it’s not. They never make it to NYCC. So to say it wasn’t what I was expecting would be a serious understatement. However, just because it wasn’t what I expected, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, because I really did! It was a fun ride, with tons of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about any of them, because that would ruin the surprises and I feel like this movie does a great job of dropping one little twist after another. The story unwraps very nicely switching between current day, flashbacks, and comic interludes; all while wrapped up in a nice bow of gory visual effects.

Make no mistake, even though Baruchel, who is known for comedy, is at the helm, this is a bloody, messy, gory, slasher flick. The body count is high, the deaths are gruesome and sometimes unnecessary, and our protagonist suffers…all things that we love in a good slasher film. On top of that, it dives into the ethical issues of turning a killer into a hero; and what effect that has on our society. It’s a conversation about glorifying violence, while at the same time being incredibly violent itself. 

Overall I really enjoyed the film and though there were a few times it got a little slow, the creativity of both the story and the killings definitely kept me interested and wanting to see what the next turn down I-90 would be.

RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE premieres on Shudder August 20, 2020.