MAYHEM Movie Review
Written by Daniel Evans
Released by Circle of Confusion
Directed by Joe Lynch
Written by Matius Caruso
2017, 86 minutes, Not yet rated
Frightfest European premiere on 27th August 2017
Steven Yeun as Derek Cho
Samara Weaving as Melanie Cross
Steven Brand as John Towers 'The Boss'
Caroline Chikezie as The Siren
Many people sleep their way to the top, some become puppets for their infernal corporate masters, but one guaranteed way to knock you firmly off the road to success is to slaughter most of the inhabitants of the building in a searing explosion of rage, fired up from deep within. Jo Lynch’s ballet of anarchy, Mayhem, is a pulsing pile-driver of a film, like a Wall Street/Battle Royale hybrid with suits, ties, bones and flesh hitting the screen in one rolling bundle of staff room violence.
A virus known as ID7 is spreading fast. If infected, one would expect to become unhelpfully horny, eternally impatient, loud and catastrophically violent, every last one of your unreleased urges bubbles to the surface before erupting in a bedlam-inducing frenzy. Derek Cho (Stephen Yeun) is an ambitious young attorney with an eye on the prize. Unfortunately his services are no longer needed and he is fired from his position at big time law firm Towers & Smyth Consulting, after he is framed for making an inexcusable blunder. Naturally ready to fight his case, he is ignored by the higher powers, and decides to head straight to the top to air his grievances. Before he can, the nasty little virus ID7 invades the building and infects everyone (including the already miffed David) who’s had the misfortune of being in there that particular day. The term “all hell breaking loose” is somewhat mild for what follows, as David meets with Melanie Cross (Samara Weaving), a thrash metal loving civilian, and continues his quest to head office.
Anyone who started this film in a position of power was already serpentine and vile to begin with, so with added ID7 they become megalomaniac to the extreme and the whole building is turned into a modern day asylum. Reminiscent of the, already gonzo, Gremlins 2 but with added speed, it zips along at such an insane pace that the images struggle to grip onto the screen. It’s an ambitious concept for a low budget film, where normally pointless scenes of boring nothingness are inserted in so as to pad out the parts where the budget has been squeezed dry, Mayhem fills every inch of the screen with some sort of carnage, making this a highly enjoyable, if draining experience, and one, that with a larger pool of money afforded to it, would become the high octane masterwork it aspires to be. File this under R for relentless.