Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving in the 2017 horror movie 'Mayhem'.

Mayhem [2017] is directed by Joe Lynch and stars Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Steven Brand, Caroline Chikezie, and Kerry Fox. A virus that disables inhibitions and magnifies thoughts and emotions causes a violent outbreak at a law firm. One man, recently screwed over by his superiors, uses the quarantine to enact his revenge.

“No raindrop ever thought it caused the flood.” The immediate appeal for a film like Mayhem is that it’s an office space environment turned into a hyper-violent war zone. What makes this particular film excel in this premise is that it starts by delivering well rounded and recognizable characters with fleshed out objectives within a realistic corporate environment before it starts delivering the buckets of crimson. The virus that causes people to react entirely via the id is merely the perfect scenario in which to play out a regularly told story of individuals getting played by the larger system at hand. The violence (while extreme) still works within the context and isn’t necessarily (though maybe sometimes) there just to be excessive. There’s an understandable mission at hand for these characters, and they’re performing as honestly as one would expect under the circumstances. This elevates Mayhem from being just another ultra-violent outing with a thinly veiled plot to move things along and instead delivers laughs and limbs with real-world relatability.

“…terms and condition may change or be updated whenever the fuck I want!” The whole film is stylishly shot and edited while being lit and colored beautifully. The writing is clever and allows for some wonderfully fun performances from everyone involved. There are no cheap thrills, and all of the effects are perfectly utilized. No part of this film feels off or out of place. If there are any gripes to be had, it’s that a story like this always seems to struggle to be unpredictable. But even if you suspect the plot points or character beats soon to be checked off, you’re always left entertained. It’s a bloody good time for fans of the genre and shows that carnage and mayhem can be rooted in honesty.


Stylish, violent, funny, and smart;
Mayhem delivers on its premise while elevating the genre.

Mayhem is featured on Borrowing Tape's Best Films of 2017 list.

Watch Mayhem on iTunes or Amazon