SXSW 2017 Review: MAYHEM

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By Jan Hamilton

Likable Steven Yeun (Glenn from The Walking Dead) stars as Derek Cho, a rising young corporate star in his law firm, who has his eyes on the top spot.  That’s why it is such a surprise that, as the story starts, Derek is getting the blame for someone else’s error, is fired without being able to defend himself, and is being marched out of the building by security.  Before they can reach the exit, a horrible virus starts quickly spreading through the high rise.  The so-called “red eye virus” causes people to do anything they want.  It eliminates the usual dampers of conscience or inhibition.

The company is so familiar with the virus, they have even won a lawsuit, thanks to Derek, that gives immunity to people infected.  Those with the disease can totally escape punishment for their crimes.  Various government agencies lock down the building and mayhem ensues inside.  Murder, sex, arson, battery, anything that crosses the mind is acted on.  Derek is determined to get to the top floor were the corporate leaders have walled themselves off, to plead his case.  On the way he runs into Melanie (Samara Weaving) who is a victim of his company’s enabling of predatory mortgage practices. She is trying to get someone to listen to her before foreclosure. They decide they have a better chance to reach the top together, and the audience goes along for the ride.

The Bottom Line: A violent, bloody, kick-ass movie that most adults would like, with humor and good performances.

Director:  Joe Lynch

Executive Producer:  Buddy Enright, Steven Yeun

Producer:  Mehrdad Elie, Matt Smith, Lawrence Mattis,

Sean Sorensen, Parisa Caviani

Screenwriter: Matias Caruso

Cinematographer: Steve Gainer

Editor: Josh Ethier

Production Designer: MIna Buric

Sound Designer: Trevor Gates

Music: Steve Moore

Principal Cast: Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Dallas Mark Roberts,

Caroline Chikezie, Mark Stewart Frost, Kerry Fox, Lucy Chappell, Steven Brand

Additional Credits: VFX Supervisor: Sam Balcomb

Costume Designer: Momrika Bailovic

Music Supervisor: James Jacoby

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