Mayhem (2017)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Mayhem delivers stylish violence by the bloody bucketful -- and grounds all the titular chaos in sharp humor and surprisingly effective real-world economic angst.

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Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) is having a really bad day. After being unjustly fired from his job, he discovers that the law firm's building is under quarantine for a mysterious and dangerous virus. Chaos erupts throughout the office as the victims of the disease begin acting out their wildest impulses. Joining forces with a former client (Samara Weaving) who has a grudge of her own, Derek savagely fights tooth and nail to get to the executives on the top floor and settle the score once and for all.

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Critic Reviews for Mayhem

All Critics (55) | Top Critics (10)

At some point just past the middle, it goes on autopilot.

Nov 10, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Mayhem channels rage at an unfair society and the bullshit that trickles down from the Powers That Be into a paean to uncontrolled anger.

Nov 10, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Mayhem" is a frantic, blood-splattered, rock 'n' roll action-horror-comedy that plays like a killer cross between "Crank" and "Office Space."

Nov 10, 2017 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Though it's not particularly inventive, the film has a fine time pitting office-dwellers against each other.

Nov 9, 2017 | Full Review…

For how much is going on, with nail guns and scissor-stabbings and one very unconvincing dislocated tongue, the chaos can feel as sterile as a Wednesday morning meeting.

Nov 9, 2017 | Full Review…
NPR
Top Critic

While Lynch has experience delivering breezy action, "breezy" can shade into "frivolous" - or even "forgettable."

Nov 9, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mayhem

My love, it's been so long since I've been with you. I thought we would never be reunited again, with my forced absence. But now, here we are, together again at last and this moment is gonna be very special. Let me just come in and we'll start to kiss. Oh, wait a second, I thought we were alone. Why can't you nosy people just stay out of my business with horror movies? Seriously though, part of me thought that, naturally, once I came back the first movie I would watch would be a horror. The last time I did that in September, with Pumpkinhead, it turned out to be quite a disastrous experience. Perhaps not even disastrous, it's just that the movie legitimately kind of sucked. There's no two ways about it. I wasn't gonna let my first horror review in five months be that of a terrible movie, I was not going to stand for it, goddamnit. I'll admit, this movie was sort of an impulse buy. I knew that I wanted to see it, but, if I had had electricity, then there was no way I was actually gonna spend the money to buy a DVD that's fairly barebones. It's just the movie and a few special features. I'm a bit of a nerd, so I like to buy movies that have a number of special features for it to feel like I'm spending money on something that's a little more substantial. Long story short, I had no electricity at the time I bought this, but I had a little money and I just said 'Fuck it' and just bought it. You might say it was a depression-inspired purchase, something to make me think about anything that's not the fact that I've been without electricity for four months (at least at that point). But that's neither here nor there. Steven Yeun is a very good actor and he was one of the few things I legitimately liked about The Walking Dead (I've made my feelings known on the show many times in my reviews). I'm not here to talk about that show or Steven's exit from it (which was a mistake, in my opinion). Moving on, I'm sure you have all felt, at one time or another, like punching your bosses in the face. Maybe you've even thought of more than that, you sadistic fucks you. That is unless you're the boss of your own corporation/company/whatever and you feel like you're king of the world. That's probably an unfair assessment, I'm sure there's bosses that are legitimately decent people. That's neither here nor there, but this is a movie that feels timely (considering who's running the country and his history with not paying people who work for him). This feels like an amalgamation of Office Space, with its satire regarding the backstabbing, parasitic nature of working for a consulting firm where everyone working there is trying to reach a higher position with better pay and benefits. And The Raid, given that our heroes have to work their way up the building to get access to the higher ups for Derek to plead his case about why he was unjustly fired and for Melanie to get revenge on those who denied her an extension on her loan. Simple, straightforward and effective. Part of me is honestly struggling with whether or not I felt that this was a good movie or a very good one. The fact of the matter is that while the movie is certainly funny and parodies this office environment, it's also not what I would consider hilarious. But, on the other hand, I still felt that I had a blast watching this movie. And that's in large part due to the fact that the movie is not afraid, in the slightest, to embrace the fact that it's a B-movie and it should provide according thrills. The movie, basically, is about a virus that makes people lose their inhibitions and they act on their basest instincts. Whether that be anger, lust, depression, hate, etc, etc, etc. It's just a bunch of angry people trying to kill each other. The concept is simple and they stick to that simplicity and, quite frankly, I respect that. They knew what they wanted to accomplish and they stuck firmly to achieving that goal. I felt they accomplished it, perhaps not amazingly, but they accomplished it nonetheless. The movie also works thanks to the fact that Steven Yeun (who's boyishly handsome...inside joke, but also fact) and Samara Weaving have great chemistry with each other. Perhaps it's not as antagonistic as I'd have hoped it would be, but they're still a great pair and they play off each other very well. But. in my opinion, there's also aspects of the movie that felt a little forced. Like the whole commentary on office life and the backstabbing nature of that world wasn't exactly subtle. Then again, with a movie that deals with a virus that causes people to lose their inhibitions and attack each other out of nowhere, subtle might not exactly be the best course of action. And, this could be explained away by 'the virus' as well, but there's a sex scene between Melanie and Derek that feels a little out of place as well. Not saying that it doesn't work, considering that Derek and Melanie are characters that you root for, but it doesn't feel right. It works within the context of the story they are trying to tell and the virus, yes, but it still doesn't feel right. The film happily provides blood, violence, sex and profanity in spades, so if that's your type of movie then you will certainly love this. Weirdly enough, in spite of everything that takes place here, the film's message is, basically, to live your dreams and do what you want. Don't let your job have you instead of the other way around. Sort of an odd message considering everything that we just witnessed, but it's a message that gets my approval anyway. Having said all of that, I don't think I'd feel comfortable giving this 3.5 stars. It just fell short of that, but this is still a fun, entertaining movie for those of you who hate your jobs and just wish you could say fuck it and go on a punching spree of the higher ups where you work. Even if you don't hate your job and you just enjoy horror movies, this is still a pretty good one to watch.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

½

Like The Belko Experiment before it, Mayhem is a cathartic office massacre movie that's mean-spirited in a good way. Mayhem however, has one thing The Belko Experiment didn't: Fellow Australian Samara Weaving lowering the quality of the whole thing.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer

There's some virus loose in an office building that makes people go violent, and so everybody starts attacking everybody else all of a sudden. There's some little dialogue, too, some talking about stuff, set-up stuff mostly, but no worries, cause soon we get right back to the old ultra-violence. And roll credits. Meh. The hero sums it all up at the end, something about about how violence is bad and so you better watch out. Sounded like a moral or something.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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