Runtime: 1h 26m
Director: Joe Lynch
Writer: Matias Caruso
Stars: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Steven Brand
“Dude, that freak show had some super-good-quality shoes. These are comfy as fuck!”
Initial: I think Mayhem went on to my TBW list after I watched Samara Weaving in Ready or Not (2019) last year.
Production Notes: Filmed primarily in Belgrade, Serbia.
What Did I Think:
You know yesterday when I mentioned that the umbrella of the horror genre is very wide? Yeah, I’m not sure there could be a film as different from La Llorona as Mayhem.
Enjoyment of this film is entirely dependent on whether you can accept its premise: a virus causes inhibitions to be lowered and a lawsuit precedent negates culpability for what an infected person does while ill. It’s sort of like the “The Naked Time” episode of Star Trek meets The Purge. In short, it is an excuse for a lot of violence without worrying about consequences. The message of the movie it something about choosing your own path and not getting sucked in to, uh, big evil corporations, but that’s pretty undercut by all the murder.
That said, Mayhem isn’t without some charm. From scene one, it has an obvious heightened reality, which can be fun. You know immediately you’re not really in the real world. (Also, a quarantine enforced by SWAT teams! Definitely not the real world…) The best thing about Mayhem is Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving together in scenes. They have great chemistry. They need a Lethal Weapon-style buddy-cop movie project. Or maybe a romantic comedy. I can’t decide which. (I just realized that Steven Yeun is nominated for an Oscar this year for Minari (2020). Good luck to him!)