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'Mayhem' Toronto After Dark 2017 Review: A violent, darkly funny and cathartic thrill ride

October 20, 2017Ferdosa Abdi

A horror-comedy where the cutthroat legal world of TV's Suits meets the chaotic bloodshed of the Japanese cult classic Battle Royale, the aptly titled Mayhem is everything its title promises, pitting office worker against office worker in this violent, darkly funny and cathartic thrill ride.

When an outbreak of the inhibition-reducing, rage-inducing ID7 virus turns an average workday into eight hours of blood-soaked chaos, unjustly-fired lawyer Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) must fight for more than just his job. For years, Derek has been so focused on climbing the corporate ladder that it's turned him into the very stereotype he despises. Now, he's out to get some of his humanity back — and out for blood — teaming up with Melanie Cross (Samara Weaving), a disgruntled woman whose home is about to be foreclosed, to ascend to the top of his office tower and give his sociopathic, coke-snorting boss (Steven Brand) his comeuppance.

With the exception of Derek and Melanie, there aren't many other characters to root for. These are mostly horrible people trapped in a horrible situation, but thanks to Matias Caruso's clever script and Joe Lynch's kinetic direction, it's incredibly fun to watch as all that pent-up anger and frustration is unleashed, with extremely bloody results.

Mayhem is receiving its Toronto premiere at Toronto After Dark 2017.

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