Set on Halloween, the film introduces a hard-working nurse named Romina (Lora Burke). After finishing a long shift, Romina goes straight home, but when she walks through her front door, she soon finds she’s not alone. A stranger is hiding out in her house, along with his hostage, who is quite badly beaten.
We gain a brief understanding as to why the stranger has come to her house, and naturally, Romina is rather shaken up by the surprise visitor and the situation she finds herself in. But for Romina and the stranger, their night is about to get a lot worse as several skilled murderers are sent to her home with orders to kill everyone inside. Now Romina and the dangerous stranger must band together and take out each violent killer who walks through the front door. Can they survive the night and escape the blood bath by working together?
For the Sake of Vicious is best classed as a horror movie with extreme violence, gore, and torture. I enjoyed the film’s premise and the idea of someone coming home to find a stranger in their home and becoming trapped in a situation that only worsens as the night continues. Just when you think Romina’s situation couldn’t get any worse, the film decides to take it up a notch and proves the audience wrong.
The pacing is extremely slow, and I found the film rather uninteresting to begin with. It is a long duration before any violent kills or extreme violence commence. Before the violence, the film attempts to build the characters and add depth, unfortunately not doing so well. Key details are kept highly vague, and there are so many unanswered questions and baffling aspects even when the credits roll. The music score feels repetitive and familiar at times- just as if it belonged in a Saw film.
Performances are average at best, and lines of dialogue are, at times, poorly written for our leading characters. It’s a shame that more depth isn’t given to the characters. They are at their strongest on-screen when they are barely speaking and trying to survive the night. The violence here is certainly brutal, and this is one area the film does well at shocking and surprising audiences, perhaps even making you feel uncomfortable. The problem is, with such a first half, will viewers have checked out before they witness the bloody showdown? Perhaps.
Overall, this film starts insanely slow, and the pacing is a challenge in the first half. But if horror fans can stick it out, there is a reward as it builds towards a brutal time of blood, violence, and torture. The concept and premise are great, but the plot outline is vague. The actors are also fine for the most part despite spoken dialogue that sometimes feels unnatural. The film’s leading characters show the strongest aspects and development only when they are filled with fear and forced to work together, getting their hands covered in blood. In the end, this is a fun concept with great ideas, but it missed opportunities to take it all to another level. For the Sake of Vicious (2020) is Available on Shudder from January 6th.