What are the real consequences when life begins to imitate art? Comic book creator Todd Walkley, his wife Kathy, assistant Aurora and best friend, Hard Calibre Comics owner Ezra, embark upon a road trip from Toronto to New York Comic Con and bad things start to happen. People start getting killed.
Starring: Jesse Williams, Jordana Brewster, Niamh Wilson, and Jay Baruchel
Directed by: Jay Baruchel
Written by: Jay Baruchel, Jesse Chabot
Imagine taking the time to create something like a comic. You put in the work researching and creating the character it’s based on, and construct the story. You draw the artwork behind it, put it out there, and it’s a success. That’s been tough enough, but now you need to write the conclusion to your story. Sometimes that isn’t so easy, and you might need a little help. That’s basically where “Random Acts of Violence” begins.
Todd (Jesse Williams) brought this comic to life, and is struggling to put an end to it. He’s hoping to spark an idea or two for the ending as he heads to a comic con along with his wife Kathy (Jordana Brewster), business partner Ezra (Jay Baruchel), and assistant Aurora (Niamh Wilson). The comic is based on a serial killer who killed a bunch of people along a stretch of highway, so maybe a road trip isn’t a good idea after all. In typical horror movie fashion, they stop at a run down gas station where Katy tries to interview the rude attendant about the murders. She’s also working on her own story covering the victims of this killer. Before they leave Todd and Ezra put some comics on a stand setting up the beginning of the end of the comic and maybe their lives.
The real fun begins when the random acts of violence start to occur. A group of young people hit the road at night, and soon enough break down on the side of the road. A van pulls up and a man wearing a welding mask gets out to help. Well the only thing he helps with is their deaths, and boy do the deaths live up to the term ‘violence.’ He absolutely stabs the hell out of them, and then creates an interesting design out of them. Todd and company end up seeing this as they drive by, and it looks very familiar to them. It’s the first of what becomes not so random acts of violence they encounter.
Again, the violence and deaths in the film are fabulous. The audience will feel the pain the group of young people that are killed go through. The next death might not seem so extreme, except for the excellent shot of how he appears, but it’s more about how they find the victim. If only there could have been more deaths and aftermath images because they’re done so well. Without giving it away, the final staging area for the film and some of the Slasherman’s victims is also awesome.
As for the story, it’s a terrific idea having a killer come to life out of the comic, and hunt down the creator. Taunting Todd with odd numbers, and staging deaths from the comics works to bring out the mystery and horror. While it might not get a lot of attention, there’s an interesting side story that Katy tries to bring up, and goes against what Todd has created. She’s basically pointing out the violence of the comic, and how it takes the focus away from the true victims of the Slasherman. As good as those things are, it just feels like something is missing with how Todd, and the Slasherman are really connected. However, it does lead to a little bite of an unexpected ending.
What appear to be random acts of violence aren’t so random, but are very violent. Todd is looking for inspiration to finish his popular comic, and is about to get no greater inspiration than having his comic come to life before his eyes. Slasherman is back, and he’s is bringing his full rage to his victims. He’s so good at what he does he might leave the audience wanting more. Yes, that’s not what Katy would want, but it’s a treat for horror fans. Mixing in some comic book action as well is another treat the film has for the audience. The only set back might be the ultimate connection between Todd and the killer, but maybe that was missed while taking in setting of the final scene. With that, I give “Random Acts of Violence” 3.5 pools of blood because it brought the violence whether it was random or not!
Playing on AMC's Shudder starting Aug. 20th!