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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell J.

Vicious Fun (2021) Really Does Deliver on its Name

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

Title: Vicious Fun

First Non-Festival Release: June 29, 2021 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)

Director: Cody Calahan

Writer: Cody Calahan, James Villeneuve

Runtime: 96 Minutes

Starring: Evan Marsh, Amber Goldfarb, Ari Millen

Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here

Certified loser and small-time horror movie critic stumbles into a serial killer support group one night after drinking too much at a dive bar. Once he realizes what he’s gotten himself into, he tries to weasel his way out of the situation by passing as the newest member of their group. Unsurprisingly, he’s made rather quickly and has seriously angered the already volatile group of maniacs. He’ll half to face off against the killers with the help of a powerful ally and the girl he loves who doesn’t quite feel the same way.

Vicious Fun is a gleefully playful slasher filled with colorful characters, fresh humor, and brutal kills.

A pitch perfect cold open sets viewers up for the exact experience they will get from Vicious Fun. While I have issues with how the middle plays its cards too early, it still ends as a silly slasher with enough commentary on the state of the genre that is written with love, and plenty of gore. The comedy is light, but the horror is still twisted and intense. Thankfully, about 80% of all the jokes land and those that don’t are largely due to delivery of weaker cast members.

The cast of Vicious Fun turns its clever concept into an absolute blast, particularly Amber Goldfarb and Ari Millen. Goldfarb’s Carrie is very reminiscent of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, but she makes it work with her own style. We don’t dive too deep into Carrie’s emotional core, but between the sharp script and Goldfarb’s performance we learn more than enough. She is certainly the most interesting character of the bunch, and hopefully if there is a follow-up, we will learn more about her. Millen channels his inner Patrick Bateman with his wonderfully unhinged portrayal of Bob. It doesn’t quite reach the heights that he’s going for, but he chews the scenery with enough zest to make up for it.

The rest of the cast delivers solid performances as well. Evan Marsh’s awkward Joel, who can admittedly get grating at times, does a good job of acting as the sounding board for the audience. Julian Richings’ delightful rendition of a deeply restrained accountant turned homicidal clown will inspire both laughs and chills. The hot-headed Detective Doyle is brought to life by Kristopher Bowman who has perfect comedic timing and physicality. Last but not least, Robert Maillet serves as the film’s amalgamation of Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, and probably another dozen or so serial killers to bring a certain hulking menace quality to the film which, without him, would be lacking.

And speaking of the great slasher icons of the past, Vicious Fun gives some of them a run for their money. The cast of killers have such fierce personalities that each could have their own origin story prequel. Great slice-and-dice effects and well-shot chase sequences make Vicious Fun a delightful and energetic horror film that can appeal to all fanbases.

There’s not much here for me to critique. It has a certain playful vibe that I really dig and utilizes it whenever the film’s pacing slows, which is again most notable in the second act. This is easily the film’s weakest area. Once we change locations, there is a lapse in energy that is noticeable. Thankfully, once Vicious Fun regains its footing it does so with confidence.

It’s right there in the title. It is simply Vicious Fun. This film is written for horror fans, and it shows. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone and it goes out of its way to deliver on its zany and unique premise with a bloody panache. Great gags and laughs, a cast of memorable characters brought to life by capable actors, and a compelling story make Vicious Fun a solid bet for any horror fan looking to enjoy their night. It hits a lot of marks for me, and I have a hunch it has high re-watch and friend movie-night potential. I promise you will have more than just a little bit of Vicious Fun with this little gem.

Overall Score? 7.5/10

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