Todd (Jesse Williams) and Ezra (Jay Baruchel) are a couple of comic book writers who created the successful and yet controversial, Slasherman comic book series which was inspired by a real-life serial killer. Todd’s wife, Kathy (Jordanna Brewster) is also inspired by her husband’s work, although she intends to write a book about the victims of Slasherman to reveal their stories and to discuss the use of real-life tragedies as entertainment where the real stories affect real people every single day.
The conflict between Todd and Kathy’s work is leading to a long overdue confrontation, but after Todd receives a strange phone call over the air whilst being dragged across the coals by a radio presenter, Todd starts to realise that his work may have inspired a serial killer to mimic his best work.
Random Acts of Violence is the feature debut of director Jay Baruchel who co-wrote the screenplay, based on the comic book of the same name written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and is coming to Shudder.
What could be described as a postmodern horror movie taken from a postmodern comic, Random Acts of Violence is not your typical slasher movie. Random Acts of Violence not only talks about the validity of horror as entertainment (particular true crime horror), but it also talks about the responsibility of authors when creating material which could then be interpreted in a way that the author never intended.
However, while all these small discussions are going on in a movie about comic book writers that’s based on a comic about comic book writers writing a comic that could be in a horror movie (with me so far?) it all seems to be delivering mixed messages.
Whereas the comic book could give its readers some time to pause for thought about what the deeper messages of writing all means, the movie doesn’t have the luxury of doing it for the audience.
So, by the final act Random Acts of Violence seems to be delivering to its audience what it knows horror fans will want and not enough time for them to breathe and really think about its wider implications.
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