Here is the director’s statement
Jay Baruchel – “Ezra”
My name is Jay Baruchel, and I directed a movie called “Random Acts of Violence” written by Jesse Chabot and yours truly. This project has been a labour of love for both of us, having written the first draft of the very first treatment about 7 years ago. We had different opportunities throughout that time to make this film, but have eschewed all of them in favour of waiting for the right set of circumstances and resources. This time allowed us to beat down and then rebuild our script again and again. We have been able to develop this story, and these characters, to a
degree of artistic maturity that, frankly, seems uncommon in the horror genre. Jesse and I are perfectionists, and we both know that a movie isn’t truly finished until it comes out, and time and time again, we have gone back to the page to challenge the script to be better. Jesse and I have both been fans of the horror genre since we were kids in high school together. We’d pass the latest issue of Fangoria back and forth between us, pour over all the info contained in George A. Romero’s biography, and film zombie movies at our friends’ houses if their folks were out of town. The point is we are united, both in love for the genre and in displeasure at where the form is at now. The sad truth is that horror has turned stagnant – a warehouse for outdated ideas and misogyny apologists. A lot of these ills have been here for a while some are new trends. Either way, the vast majority of horror flicks feature characters nobody cares about, in cynically engineered circumstances that fetishize cruelty. This is incorrect morally, as well as antithetical to the very essence of what a horror film is meant to feel like. Above all, a horror film should be scary. It sounds simple enough, and yet when one watches the majority of contemporary horror flicks, so few of them are actually scary. They may be shocking and inspire momentary car crash awe, but the fact is, if an audience member laughs, or shares a sort of “holy shit” moment with the person next to them, they may be excited but they are not scared. “Random Acts of Violence” seeks to cure this. We want our audience to actually enjoy the company of our protagonists, and to mourn their ends, as none of our violence will have any actual relevance if the audience doesn’t give a shit about our heroes. We want our violence to be clumsy, real, and feature a minimum of spectacle, because the horror should be horrific and not fun. We want to provide substance, or at least, a philosophical dialogue for our audience members to take with them when they leave. We want them to feel the whole panoply of emotions, with as much sincerity as one can feel. In short, we want to make a good movie and having spent over a half-decade on this script, I believe we did. This is a slasher film, deconstructed, and then reconstructed once again. This is a film that will scratch the itch of anyone looking for a fun, scary road trip movie, and it will be as slick and contemporary as any of its competitors. This is also a film that challenges those same fans, while appealing to a broader audience that might not typically watch this kind of flick. This means a driving, contemporary pace, a slick commercial polish, and images that can go toe to toe with any other theatrical wide release. As a veteran of over 20 years on set experience as an actor, writer, and director, I can say with great confidence that there are few places on Earth that I feel more at home than on a film set. In that time, I have learned, and lived, and gotten to apprentice under many of film’s great living masters. Growing up when I did, I was fed a steady diet of Spielberg, DePalma, Scorcese, Cronenberg, Stone, Mann, and Lean. This has manifested itself in my need to speak in the filmic language of classicism. Which is just a rather pretentious way of saying I like old school shit used in a new school context: dolly tracks and Steadicams, artful lighting, vivid colours, staging, and in-camera techniques that for whatever reason have become largely forgotten in the digital age. Ours is a beautiful, truthful film, that is as entertaining as it is disturbing; a violent, Neo-Gothic love story about artistic responsibility and the cultural ill of legitimizing misogynistic violence, as told through the lens of Generation Y kids that came of age enjoying art made by Generation X. “Random Acts of Violence” is a film made with an absolute surplus of reverence and care from all involved. This is a movie that has been in our blood for the better part of a decade, and we think there is very much a place for it on today’s screens. Maybe even a need for it. It will entertain, and transport, and challenge, and force its audience to make decisions and own them. This film is an emotional supplement, and while not everyone will like it, I suspect no one
will forget it.
As always, thanks for reading. Most of the above information is from the official press release.
New members can enjoy a 30-day free trial on Shudder by using the promo code SHUTIN. Shudder has been getting some amazing releases lately. 3o-days is more than enough time to get you started on some serious horror binging.
Coming out in the US, UK & Ireland on AMC’s horror streaming platform Shudder August 20th
Words by Gary Gamble + Press-Team
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker