Lee Weber reviews the RLJ Entertainment and Shudder Blu-ray release of Random Acts of Violence aboot a Canadian comic-book writer on the road to Comic-Con who and begins to notice scary similarities between the character he draws and horrific real-life events.

3095456



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

86




Details:

Studio and Year: RLJE Films - 2019
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature Running Time: 80 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Jordana Brewster, Jay Baruchel, Jesse Williams, Aviva Mongillo, Niamh Wilson, Julia Knope
Directed by: Jay Baruchel
Written by: Jay Baruchel, Jesse Chabot, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Music by: Wade MacNeil
Region Code: A


Release Date: February 16th, 2020



"Real art is born of truth."


Synopsis:

“Comic book creator Todd Walkley, his wife, assistant and best friend, are heading to NYC Comic Con when bad things start to happen—people start getting killed. It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using his “SLASHERMAN” comic as inspiration for the killings. And as the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends become victims themselves, he is forced to face the killer and put an end to his notorious comic once and for all. .” – RLJ Entertainment.

My Take:


Given the fact that the above synopsis sounds like a pitch for a lost Jay and Silent Bob horror flick, and that it is written and directed by Jay Baruchel (Goon 1 & 2, This Is The End) the voice of Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon, I was pleasantly surprised in how effective, though derivative of 80s classic horror Random Acts of Violence was. Filled with graphic gore and a decent plot, Random Acts of Violence didn't scare as much as shock, sliding through most of its falts thanks to a 80-minute runtime.

Sprinkle Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and spin it with the plot of a writer not having the ending to his comics based on a real-life serial killer, you can see where it is going fast. Coming out of retirement, Slasherman shows up to give the crew some real-life inspiration on their road trip. Inspired by a 2010 graphic novel by writer Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, and artists Giancarlo Caracuzzo and Paul Mounts, Baruchel was ambitious with the way has shot and paced the film. It shows he has the chops to deliver, even if this is just a building block in his transformation to a writer/director. He does star in the film along with Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy) and Jordana Brewster (The Fast and the Furious) giving the movie better acting than the normal slasher film.

Horror fans will dig it, but it never really pulls out the frights-- and the real-life Slasherman is brutal yet one of the less effective boogymen in the slasher genre. Still, I found it worth a watch considering how it was filmed and edited --and the effects were pretty gory.






Replay Value:



Parental Guide:

Nor Rated - for language and extreme violence/gore.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/Blu-ray disc.



Video: 84

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)




    • Resolution/Clarity:
    • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
    • Color Reproduction:
    • Fleshtones:
    • Compression:


Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)



    • Dynamics:
    • Low frequency effects:
    • Surround Sound presentation:
    • Clarity/Detail:
    • Dialog Reproduction:
    • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA

Random Acts of Violence comes to Blu-ray Disc from RLJ Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded and lossless DTS HD MA 5.1 channel sound.

Random Acts of Violence's video is stylized with oversaturated primary colors that have a unique look. A clean encode, black levels were free from crush and flesh-tones seemed natural even with the enhanced colors. I noticed a few moments of banding, but it was because I was really paying attention. Generally very sharp, the movie had a real-life feel that did add to the effectiveness of the on-screen gore. The audio mix was aggressive and satisfying with some moments of room-shaking low frequencies. Active surround channels were fun and the dynamics were effective when going from lulling and calm to manic and bombastic. I enjoyed the choice of music and the score gave the movie a nice lift.



Bonus Features:


  • Interview with Director/Writer Jay Baruchel
  • More Than Just A Scary Movie
  • Inside the Making of an Action Scene


Final Thoughts:

Random Acts of Violence is a fun and unique entry in the slasher genre, and is absolutely a worth-while watch for fans of horror. I don't think anyone else will get much out of it, but it is nice to see the quality Jay Baruchel can create and I look forward to him doing some more genre flicks! I also enjoyed his interview, talking about the production and how the movie came to be, as well as sharing some deeper thoughts on the film. Considering it had a fun aesthetic with some interesting artistic and color choices, the encode from RLJ Entertainment is fantastic for a BD-25 and I recommend fans see it on Blu-ray.










Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

Sony VPL-VW715 4K UHD HDR Front Projector
Next Level Acoustics Cineweave 138" 2.35:1 Acoustically Transparent Screen
Da-Lite Pro Imager Projector Screen Masking System
Anthem MRX 1140 AVR
Panasonic DB-820 4K UHD HDR Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Roku Ultra 4K Ultra HD HDR Streamer (HDMI Audio/Video)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IWHD Monitors x3 (LCR)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IW55 x4 (Surrounds)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IC44A x4 (Atmos)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-HV15 Sub
Audioquest Speaker Wires and Interconnects

Sony 77" XBR-77A9G 4K UHD HDR OLED
Anthem MRX-540-AV Receiver
Sony UBP-X1100ES 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Roku Ultra 4K UHD HDR Streamer (HDMI Audio/Video)
Next Level Acoustics- Fusion Cinema Trio
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IWSUR6.1
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IW10S Subwoofer
Tributaries Interconnects

AudioQuest Speaker Wires