Violence reigns in the new independent horror film For the Sake of Vicious, a brutal and unforgiving story of an overworked nurse who comes home to a house of horrors on Halloween Night.
Lora Burke (Poor Agnes) plays the nurse, Romina, who comes home to find a seemingly crazed stranger with an unconscious hostage in her house.
(Mild spoilers ahead in this paragraph.) Romina soon learns that the stranger is in fact the father of a young girl that she treated following a rape five years ago, and the hostage happens to be her landlord. You can probably guess what the stranger, Chris (played by Nick Smyth), was planning, as he tells the nurse to keep the already severely beaten hostage, Alan (played by Colin Paradine), alive until he confesses to the rape, which he strongly denies.
This dark scenario takes a turn for the worse when a group of masked men invade the house, like oversized trick or treaters hungry for blood rather than candy, and this unlikely trio must decide if they’re going to work together to try to survive the night. It just gets bloodier from here, as a second gang of masked invaders on motorcycles are soon also dispatched to the nurse’s house.
While fighting for her life, Romina must also determine who she believes between the two men who are now fighting for their own survival along side her. Burke’s performance is grounded and believable, hinting at a prior trauma that Romina previously survived that perhaps gives her added inner strength on this night. She is understandably skeptical about taking Chris at his word and also hesitant to believe Alan’s denial. When all hell breaks loose, she’s already gone into full survival mode, on a mission to make it out of this Halloween Night and see her young son again.
To say that the film lives up its title and is supremely vicious is an understatement, as the blood sprays unsparingly and the physical violence grows more visceral and merciless with each passing punch, stab, and shot.
Written and directed by Gabriel Carrer and Reese Eveneshen, For the Sake of Vicious doesn’t waste any of its brisk 80-minute runtime on unnecessary plot details or superfluous dialogue, concentrating instead on delivering gut-punch violence meant to make the audience wince.
With effective use of practical FX and the stunts performed by the actors themselves, the bone-crunching action is realistic and claustrophobic. Each hit in the numerous fights and each scream of agony are palpable, always leaving a mark on both the victims and the viewers.
The synth-heavy soundtrack by Foxgrndr pumps with dark dirges, providing a semi-futuristic coolness to the overall aesthetic of the film, and a driving pulse propelling the action. The gangster bikers riding to the nurse’s house is an especially well-executed sequence that screams cool.
As for Halloween atmosphere, there are decorations seen early in the hospital, numerous jack-o’-lanterns throughout the neighborhood, a costume party going on next door, and a vintage jointed skeleton decoration hanging in Romina’s house and visible prominently throughout the film. By the time some actual young trick or treaters coming knocking, it’s a welcome breath of innocence amid the chaos.
A real treat for the most bloodthirsty and a testament to just how far a parent will push themselves for their child, Vicious is recommended for the sake of a mother’s love and a father’s vengeance.
For the Sake of Vicious will be released on VOD on April 20 and on Blu-ray on May 4, from Dread/Epic Pictures.
You can watch the official trailer below.
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