Director: Joe Lynch
Cast: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Steven Brand
Release Date: December 26, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) is having a really bad day. After being unjustly fired from his job, he discovers that the law firm’s building is under quarantine for a mysterious and dangerous virus. Chaos erupts throughout the office as the victims of the disease begin acting out their wildest impulses. Joining forces with a former client (Samara Weaving) who has a grudge of her own, Derek savagely fights tooth and nail to get to the executives on the top floor and settle the score once and for all.
‘Mayhem’ joins company man and go-getter Derek Cho (Yeun) on what is turning out to be a truly terrible day. After being framed and wrongfully fired, his previously prominent career is over. But moments before being escorted from the building by security, the entire building is quarantined after being infected by a radical new virus that unleashes pent up rage and other usually avoidable urges in those affected. Fortunately for Derek, and less fortunate for the corporate big shots that just wrongly fired him, the quarantine just offered up the perfect opportunity to get even. Enlisting the help of a wronged client (Weaving) who was unlucky enough to find herself trapped within after being shot down on her plea by none other than Derek himself, the unlikely duo embark on a blood drenched quest to reach the top floor and get what they are rightfully owed, one body (and keycard) at a time, with the countdown clock of the quarantine additionally serving as their deadline. Let the mayhem begin!
Directed by Joe Lynch (Everly, Knights of Badassdom) from a screenplay written by Matias Caruso which also marks Caruso’s feature length writing debut, Lynch does a magnificent job at the helm of ‘Mayhem’ guiding the wildly entertaining chaos along with ease around each turn, floor or cubicle. The film also owes plenty of credit to the talented and perfectly selected cast which includes Steven Yeun (TV’s The Walking Dead), Samara Weaving (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Steven Brand (TV’s Teen Wolf), Caroline Chikezie (Everly), Kerry Fox (The Dressmaker), Dallas Roberts (Dallas Buyers Club) and more, nearly all delivering spot on performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Mayhem’ is a fast paced, blood soaked good time with a demented sense of humor that molds together splendidly to offer up a marvelous horror comedy that isn’t afraid to have some fun with its twisted premise, equally assaulting the viewer with bloody violence and eliciting unexpected laughs at the most peculiar of times yet somehow always effortlessly hitting the mark. As opposed to the far more sober tone of the Salma Hayek starring action extravaganza Everly that Lynch helmed prior, ‘Mayhem’ takes itself far less seriously and the result is a perfect combination of action, horror and comedy with no shortage of over the top insanity around every turn, and almost certainly Joe Lynch’s best directorial effort to date (especially with us fans unfortunately still unable to experience his vision of ‘Knights of Badassdom’) and his unique guidance is only complimented all the more by a perfectly selected cast led by Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving who are both fantastic and nary miss a beat. I would strongly urge fans of Lynch’s work along with anyone that tends to enjoy a delightfully twisted and bloody horror comedy with plenty of originality and wit to make a point of checking out ‘Mayhem’ when you have the opportunity to do so. It’s a fantastic film that’s as equally fun as it is wild and fellow genre fans definitely won’t want to miss out on this wildly entertaining gem. It should easily prove well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the absolute least for anyone that’s already even the slightest bit intrigued by the film.
Overall, ‘Mayhem’ is a wonderful, fun and blood drenched horror comedy with a delightfully twisted sense of humor that serves up nearly nonstop chaotic fun that should have no trouble keeping viewers glued to the screen, and often with a grin plastered on their face. Smart, funny and wildly entertaining around every turn, director Joe Lynch does a wonderful job guiding along the evolving anarchy in what is also almost surely his best film yet. ‘Mayhem’ easily earns one of my highest recommendations, especially for fellow fans of well made horror comedies with plenty of bloody insanity and twisted laughs to spare, and for any other fans of Joe Lynch’s work in general who definitely won’t want to miss out on this one; odds are you’ll have a great deal of fun with this marvelous little ride.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Mayhem’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and provides a clean, sharp and detailed presentation throughout with no noteworthy faults to be found within. It holds up admirably even during the numerous fast moving, heavily populated or darkly lit sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen becoming negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation from RLJE Films that should largely please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a crisp, clean and fairly aggressive audio presentation. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to immerse the viewer within the on screen insanity, sending music, screaming, debris and plenty more regularly whipping throughout the various speakers when appropriate, and always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a wonderful and notably active 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes a good share of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Mayhem’ includes a couple solid extras. Included on the release is a ‘Technical Audio Commentary with Director Joe Lynch and Director of Photography Steve Gainer’, in addition to a behind the scenes Featurette: ‘Creating Mayhem: The Making of the Film’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length) which includes interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. Also included is ‘The Collected Works of Derek Cho’ (running approximately 1 minute) which offers a collection of the lead character’s artwork as seen in the film.