Random Acts of Violence is a different kind of comic book adaptation. The movie follows Todd Walkley (Jesse Williams) a comic book creator known for his ultra violent series Slasherman. When Walkley goes on a road trip to promote the last issue, someone begins using the book as inspiration to commit their own murders. Is it a case of life imitating art or something much worse?
The movie goes beyond a road trip slasher. The theme of how violence in media effects people is explores throughout Random Acts of Violence. Walkley has taken real life atrocities and turned them into entertainment. The cycle has now come around and someone seems to be copying the comic. It is a oft asked question that is no expected.
It is an argument that has been around for decades. Ratings systems and Senate hearings concerning the issue have been held. It is an issue that will garner strong opinions. Random Acts of Violence visits the issue in some interesting ways. Most obviously, is the mystery of the killings. More poignant is Walker’s interactions with his fans. From dressing like a serial killer to making toys of his victims, it is a frightening commentary on what people will enjoy and how far they will go to show off this love.
The violence is not limited to social commentary, however. The movie is incredibly brutal. Everything from the sights to the sounds of each killing resonates with the audience. These moments are very impactful. These deaths seem to serve a dual purpose. Tying into the overarching theme of Random Acts of Violence, the killings are never fetishized. It is in these moments that the movie takes its clearest stance on violence. Director Jay Baruchel does so by making things as ugly as possible.
Random Acts of Violence loses its way during the finale. The build up to the final confrontation seems to drag out for too long. There are also some reveals that come off as too silly for what has been a fairly serious slasher. None of it ruins the enjoyment of the film, but it is noticeable. Movies based on comics have been all the rage in Hollywood for years. Random Acts of Violence adds its name with a strong horror movie. The story visits longtime arguments. It is colorful and bloody and is a ride horror fans will enjoy.