These retro slashers seem to be all the rage these days so why not have one about serial killers? Vicious Fun is a movie about a guy who accidentally ends up at a “Serial Killers Anonymous” meeting. So now he has to find a way to survive the night and trick these killers into thinking he’s one of them. Not too bad of a plot for a formulaic horror comedy, you’ll have to admit. The production values were good and the whole movie looks pretty sleek and appealing. It belongs to a string of modern eighties-themed slashers like The Babysitter and Freaky. However, Vicious Fun has more of an underground vibe to it.
You feel it’s made for horror fans. After all, our lead character is a horror critic, Joel. This means you should expect a hefty amount of graphic violence and a couple of really nasty kills. It works best if you don’t think too much about it. Just dive in and enjoy the ride. We will meet wacky characters, witness gruesome and bloody murders and even laugh out loud once or twice. And learn not to insult a man’s mustache! The cast was excellent but more importantly, they knew how to play their characters without coming off as cringy.
This is really important when you’re making this sort of goofy horror comedy with wacky characters. It can’t take itself too seriously or be too much on the nose. Evan Marsh and Amber Goldfarb were good but Ari Millen stole the show here. He was deliciously delirious as the smooth-talking serial killer and womanizer Bob. We’ve also got imposing Robert Maillet (The Big Bang) and hilarious David Koechner (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse).
Joel is a film critic who loves horror movies and his sexy roommate, Sarah. He just needs to gather his courage to ask her out. And while he was doing that, she went out on a date with apparently a married man. Determined to get to the bottom of this, Joel decides to follow him and this is how he ends up at a remote bar. Soon he befriends the man and the two of them start talking and drinking together. However, this night has other plans for Joel.
At times you feel that this movie is catering too much to the fans of the genre. And even that feels way too commercial and pandering. I guess this is a consequence of the fact that Vicious Fun is a movie produced by Shudder, a horror streaming network. In that regard, it’s similar but weaker when compared to some of their previous efforts like Mayhem and Revenge. Although I think that by far their best movie is Color Out of Space based on a short story written by H.P. Lovecraft and starring Nic Cage.
I think it needed to be edgier and creative. Sure, the main story is good but the execution and all the little details have been seen before a thousand times. I mean see one movie where someone strangles someone else with his own bowels and you’ve seen them all. Okay, I guess, The Story of Ricky is an exception that confirms that rule.
Director: Cody Calahan
Writers: James Villeneuve, Cody Calahan
Cast: Evan Marsh, Amber Goldfarb, Ari Millen, Julian Richings, Robert Maillet, Sean Baek, David Koechner
Fun Facts: Writer James Villeneuve is not related to famous director Denis Villeneuve although they’re both Canadian.