Fantasia 2020: For The Sake Of Vicious

  • Director: Gabriel Carrer & Reese Eveneshen
  • Writer: Reese Eveneshen
  • Stars: Lola Burke, Colin Paradine, Nick Smyth

Review

Playing at Fantasia Film Festival 2020, For the Sake of Vicious is so many things: it’s a revenge film, a home invasion film, a feminist anthem and an all around kickass horror movie, so let’s break it down.

It’s Halloween night and Romina has just finished her nursing shift and is headed home before she picks up her son for some trick or treating. Unfortunately, Chris and his captive Alan are already in Romina’s house. Romina has no idea who these men are or why they are in her home and over the course of a taut 80 minutes, these three will unravel the complexities and mysteries of what has brought them together while also fighting off a gang of violent intruders.

Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen co-direct, but that’s not all: Eveneshen is also the writer of the film and Carrer did the score. Eveneshen has accomplished what a lot of people cannot: an intriguing and suspenseful story that all plays out in one small space. The why’s of what brought these three people together is not only heartbreaking, but also allows for the myriad changing of alliances and inevitable ramp up to violence. And there will be violence. Lots of it.

As the poster states, Nothing Good This Way Comes and when the first wave of men in devil masks breaks into Romina’s house, all hell breaks loose and it never lets up after that. This is where For the Sake of Vicious really shines. The lived in feel and overall look of the film, the choice of lighting, all of the million things that fall under the huge umbrella of cinematography are so perfect and it all works in perfect harmony with the score. The  impressiveness of the score cannot be undersold. Carrer has crafted a synth score that really works. This is no mere 80’s nostalgia music grab: the score is a character in it’s own right and sets the tone perfectly at all turns.

Lora Burke is dynamite as Romina. This Final Girl quietly owns the film and commands every room she’s in. Throughout the movie, every man underestimates her and it is always at their peril. A single mom is not someone to be trifled with and Burke pulls this off with ease. Nick Smyth as Chris plays well off of Burke: he’s a man who has nothing to lose and he will stop at nothing to get his pound of flesh. Rounding out this trio is Colin Paradine as Alan who may, or may not, be a true villain. When the last thirty minutes of the film kick in, it is nonstop violence and gore and these three must decide who their real enemies are.

For the Sake of Vicious was filmed in fifteen days and all of the actors did their own stunts which is one of the many things that makes the movie so great. All of the fighting feels raw and real and the cherry on top is the stellar practical effects. Pair all of this with the score and this is the kind of movie that takes your heart rate up and keeps it there. This is the kind of filmmaking that excites you and makes you want more. For the Sake of Vicious is a shining example of what good horror looks and feels like.

Played as part of the Fantasia Film Festival 2020

Lisa Fremont

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