For the Sake of Vicious
For the Sake of Vicious is a daffy if uncharismatic Canadian thriller from the genre duo Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen. It is grim and feels stretched even at 80 minutes, but there’s a certain sick thrill to be gleaned from its domesticated violence.
Romina (Lora Burke) is an underpaid, overworked nurse. One Halloween night, she returns home from a thankless shift to find an intruder in her house. A maniac, holding another man hostage. She’s walked straight into someone else’s revenge movie. This is Chris (Nick Smyth), who has tracked down his daughter’s rapist (Colin Paradine) and plans to keep him in Romina’s house overnight, as waves of attackers come to retrieve him.
Across a few flashbacks, Carrer and Eveneshen fill in the blanks of Chris’ tragic backstory with a straight-faced seriousness that makes their exploitation storyline seem pretentious. Little better are the drawn out scenes of character development that come before the eventual violent outburst. With washed out cinematography, people’s breath pillowing out of their mouths in the cold and a pulsing, Zimmer-lite soundtrack, For the Sake of Vicious gestures to the sort of serious neo-noir that it cannot hold a candle to. The character dynamics become repetitive, with few twists and turns to change up the viewer’s allegiances. The setting is comprised of new-build houses that rely on unrealistic lighting to create mood. The airlessness of the modern architecture isn’t put to use to ironise the acts of violence that take place there.
Carrer and Eveneshen put the audience through violent torture sequences and depictions of sexual assault. Fine. But with such a lack of tone, a selection of uninspired characters and cringe-inducing masked villains, these provocations come across as empty, half baked and thoughtless. It’s one thing to depict pain and violence, another thing altogether to understand it and express that on film.
For the Sake of Vicious is released digitally on demand on 19th April 2021.
Watch the trailer for For the Sake of Vicious here: