Review: For the Sake of Vicious (2020) – Fantasia
For the Sake of Vicious is a team-up between writer/directors Gabriel Carrer (The Demolisher, In the House of Flies) and Reese Eveneshen (Defective). Having seen films by both men I knew they could deliver a brutal action scene. But that didn’t come close to preparing me for this.
Romina (Lora Burke, Lifechanger, Poor Agnes)is an overworked nurse and a single mother. After her shift on Halloween, she just wants to relax. Instead, she finds Chris (Nick Smyth, Covenant, Late Night Double Feature) and his hostage Alan (Colin Paradine, Antisocial) in her house. Chris says he knows her, but she has no clue who he is. Until some photos he shows her jog his memory. Photos of something he claims Alan is responsible for.
However, as she tries to get out from the middle of this situation much worse is to come. A crew of hired killers is about to descend on her house. The three of them will have to work together to fight them off. And they will have become every bit as vicious as their attackers if they want to survive.
For the Sake of Vicious takes the home invasion film and crosses it with a revenge thriller. Then it adds some Assault on Precinct 13 and cranks the action up to 11, maybe even 12. Then sets it all to an incredible synth score from Foxgrndr. You can check out an excerpt from it below.
This film’s action scenes have been extensively hyped and the trailer certainly had me wanting to see more. Normally in a situation like this, I’d be a little impatient with the setup. But Carrer and Eveneshen keep things tense as the heinous crime at the root of For the Sake of Vicious’ carnage is uncovered. I was so caught up in it that I didn’t notice how much time had gone by.
The violence, once it arrives is indeed vicious. By the time For the Sake of Vicious is over there will be damn few viewers who haven’t winced at least once. This isn’t your usual sanitized action film violence. This is nasty, improvised weapon brutality. I know I’ll see the claw hammer scene in a nightmare or two. And then there’s the bit with the broken glass in the hands…
This isn’t the wall-to-wall action film I was expecting. But what you do get, almost all of the last 40 of the film’s 80 minutes is impressive. The stunt work is great. The leads actually did their own stunts which makes it all the more impressive. And the effects work is all practical. The only CGI I noticed were muzzle flashes.
Grim, compelling and intense, For the Sake of Vicious more than lives up to its name. Along with John Hyams’ Alone it’s proof that the low-budget thriller is alive and well, despite what all the crap on the racks at Walmart might make you think.
Making its world premiere on Fantasia’s closing night, For the Sake of Vicious is setting out on a festival tour. You can check the film’s Facebook page for festivals and screening times.