Jay Baruchel delivers a bloody slasher with Random Acts of Violence

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Random Acts of Violence Jay Baruchel Jesse Williams

Jay Baruchel is best known for his acting roles in comedies like Undeclared, KNOCKED UP, SHE'S OUT OF MY LEAGUE, THIS IS THE END, and the GOON films, as well as for his performances in family friendly fare like the HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON franchise and THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE. But now it sounds like his new directorial effort RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE has proven that he can also direct one hell of a slasher movie.

The film, which is currently seeking distribution, just had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest and has received solid reviews from the likes of Birth.Movies.Death. and Bloody-Disgusting that describe it as "a brutal and merciless slasher" that is "quick, bloody, and brimming with some genuinely solid practical effects." Squeamish viewers are advised to avoid it.

Based on a one-shot Image Comics graphic novel that was written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE tells the following story, according to the Fantastic Fest site

Todd Walkley (Jesse Williams) and his publisher Ezra (Jay Baruchel) made their careers crafting a comic book based on a real-life serial killer called Slasherman. On a press tour to announce the launch of their final issue, they visit the town where Slasherman wreaked havoc twenty years earlier. Upon their arrival, a series of new murders unfold… murders that look eerily familiar to imagery in Todd’s Slasherman comics. Speculation and paranoia build regarding the identity of the mysterious killer.

Williams and Baruchel are joined in the cast by Jordana Brewster and Niamh Wilson. In addition to directing and co-starring in the film, Baruchel also wrote the screenplay with Jesse Chabot.

This started out as a writing job Baruchel and Chabot were hired to do eight years ago, but as they dug deeper into the script Baruchel became more enamored with the material, and his friend Jason Eisener, director of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, told him he should direct the film as well.

Speaking with Variety, Baruchel said he thinks the movie 

scratches a bunch of different itches. For the people who want a good horror flick with some good scares, I think we do that. But to me, it’s a horror story about the creative process, about what can happen when an artist has his head all the way up his arse and to the detriment of his or her immediate orbit. Watch any rock documentary or read any rock biography — these are all guys that are important to the world but nine times out of 10, really crappy to the people they’re close with. 

We [also] had some pretty strong opinions about the trivialization of violence against women. This is not to say that you can’t show said thing, but you can’t show said thing in a trivial way where people are high-fiving each other. We realized something: None of us could name a single character in any of the “Jason” movies other than Jason. There’s the guy with red hair, the guy with freckles, or the super horny one or whatever, but I couldn’t name any of the characters. I couldn’t really describe anything about them. It tells me that none of them are the hero, that Jason’s the hero [and] what it boils down to is various sadism. I had questions, and I was interested in the totality, the effect of that and the responsibility of that."

Hopefully RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE will land a good distribution deal so we'll all have the chance to see what Baruchel's blood-soaked but thoughtful slasher movie is like very soon.

Random Acts of Violence Jordana Brewster Jesse Williams Jay Baruchel Niamh Wilson

Source: Bloody-Disgusting, Birth Movies Death

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.