Vicious Fun will be instantly relatable to many. Joel (Evan Marsh) is a horror film critic who writes scathing reviews. Of course, he knows what is best for everyone. One night, he gets drunk in a fit of jealousy. Things become a little less relatable when he wakes up. He finds himself at a strange support group and must blend in to stay alive.
The premise sets up an entertaining horror comedy. A support group for serial killer will provide plenty of room for genre tropes. That is the case here as each of the killers fits into a familiar category. There is the lumbering maniac that one girl always seems to get away from and the suave serial killer that seduces women, and even a guy who likes to dress up like a clown.
Vicious Fun oozes with style. From its bright neon lights to its fantastic soundtrack, the film looks like something straight out of the 1980s. The characterizations are perfect and the cast are brilliant. Many times, movies set in previous decades work too hard to establish the setting. There are ridiculous moments, but they enhance the mood.
The film is incredibly funny. There is some hilarious mustached-themed comedy and the script is very witty. The call outs to horror classics are never tiring. Vicious Fun even has some funny jump scares. A movie about a group of serial killers has to be gory by definition. Vicious Fun brings the goods with some disgusting practical effects. Multiple scenes walk the fine line between being too gross and giving audiences what they want. Each time, it gets the expected results.
For all the silliness and violence, there is a serious message that cuts through the film. Women have often been relegated to being a plot device in the genre. In Vicious Fun, females are seen as sexual objects whose opinions do not matter. Even Evan’s obsession with his roommate Sarah (Alex Steele) is not far from how the serial killers think.
The difference is it is only in the minds of the characters that females are seen this way. Director Cody Calahan and writer James Villeneuve present women in a different way, however. They are far from defenseless props. Carrie (Amber Goldfarb) is the real hero of Vicious Fun and even Sarah shows she can take care of herself. In between all the chaos and blood, there is something important being said.
Vicious Fun comes to Shudder June 29
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