Whoever has had any kind of experience in an office job would know the feeling of being the unhumanised part of a soulless corporation.
Luckily, as an employee of Sky Sports Italia, I don’t get that sensation, but I both experienced it first hand in previous jobs and heard constantly about it from friends and family.
Derek Cho (Walking Dead alumnus Steven Yeun) isn’t as lucky as I am, since he works as a lawyer for a company that has no sympathy for human feelings and it’s ready to dispose of its employees in the blink of an eye.
While this attitude would be dangerous from a legal point of view in our world, in Mayhem universe the repercussions could get violent and physical due to a virus that spreads easily and causes people to get impulsive and vicious.
With their building under quarantine for 8 hours, Derek – backed up by Margot Robbie’s look alike Melanie (Samara Weaving) – has to make his way to the top of the edifice, where the heads of the company are, in order to keep his job and… save his own life!
Mayhem is only 80 minutes long and it flows seamlessly from beginning to end – it’s what The Belko Experiment should have been; it’s a flick that never dares to take itself seriously and mixes entertainment and violence on a high level.
In fact, more than a horror, the film reminds me of Asian crime/thrillers, with their unapologetic gory action that doesn’t pull any punches. Quite literally in the case of Mayhem!
The humour, which is a rather important feature in this flick, is often on par with the action sequences: in all honestly, when the jokes are integral to the scenes, they work a lot better than when they come out of the blue. Yet, laughter (as well as fear) are quite subjective topics, therefore some people might enjoy the comedic aspects of Mayhem more (or less) than I did.
Again, the movie benefits from a solid cast, with Yeun and Weaving standing out – the 25-years-old Aussie actress is a blast and I feel like her performance is a better version of Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2015), played, you guessed it, by Margot Robbie.
As per issues, I don’t have any major complaint – how weird is that for a purist of horror cinema like me? However, I’d have liked certain things done differently.
For instance, the highly stylised action sequences would have worked better if filmed in full cuts, without so much editing. Yet, there are tiny inconsistencies in a few shots, like Derek holding a screwdriver as a weapon and, in the very next sequence, carrying a hammer that came out of nowhere.
Overall, though, Mayhem is an extremely entertaining flick that shows how much can be done with a simple set-up and loads of practical effects. Some people might even see a social commentary in the movie, but, to me, that was too obvious and childish to be taken seriously. Nonetheless, Mayhem is one of the funnies horror flicks I’ve seen all year and I can’t help but highly suggest you to check it out as soon as you can. Cheers!