Mayhem (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joe Lynch
Produced by Parisa Caviani
Mehrdad Elie
Buddy Enright
Lawrence Mattis
Matt Smith
Sean Sorensen
Andjelija Vlaisavljevic
Written by Matias Caruso
Starring Steven Yeun
Samara Weaving
Steven Brand
Caroline Chikezie
Kerry Fox
Dallas Roberts
Music by Steve Moore
Cinematography Steve Gainer
Edited by Josh Ethier
Circle of Confusion
Royal Viking Entertainment
Distributed by RLJE Films
Release date
  • November 10, 2017 (2017-11-10)
Running time
86 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2.5 million [1][time needed]

Mayhem is a 2017 American action horror film directed by Joe Lynch and written by Matias Caruso.[2] The film was released at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2017,[3] and The Sales art and poster was released at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2017.[4] It was released in US cinemas and on VOD and digital HD on November 10, 2017, through RLJE Films.[5]


Derek Cho, the film's protagonist, tells the audience about the ID-7 virus, or "Red Eye" virus, that has been spreading throughout the world. It infects neural pathways, removing all inhibition and moral integrity, and in turn, causing people to act out their darkest impulses. While the virus is not lethal, those infected by the virus may find themselves driven to kill. The first known case of murder driven by ID-7 was committed by Nevil Reed, who stabbed a coworker, but was not deemed liable due to the influence of the virus. Derek, a lawyer at Towers and Smythe Consulting, works for the firm that handled Reed's case; he began his job full of optimism, but ended up back-stabbing, cheating, and finding loophole after loophole in order to work his way up the corporate ladder and get a corner office.

One morning, Derek goes into work to find that his favorite mug is missing, and meets with a furious client - Melanie Cross - who needs more time on a loan, but thinks he's unable to help her. After discovering that a bungled legal case for massive company Vandacorp has been pinned on him by his superior Cara (called "The Siren", as she always has the boss's ear), Derek confronts her and finds that she has taken his mug. They go up to their boss John Towers' office to plead their cases, but Cara wins the boss over and has Derek laid off. Derek's friend Ewan is unable to help him, and he is given official notice of his firing by his coworker "The Reaper". Derek takes his things and is escorted downstairs by company security, dejected and afraid of being disbarred.

When Derek reaches the ground floor, he and the security guards find that the building is under quarantine; the ID-7 virus has been detected in the ventilation system. CDC agents have released a neutralizing agent into the building, estimating that it will take eight hours for the virus to be obliterated. Derek, realizing he's infected by the virus and will not be liable for anything he does, attacks the security guards and storms into the elevator, intending to get upstairs and kill his boss; however, he's sent down to the basement and beaten up by Towers' enforcer, "The Bull". The Bull kills Ewan by mistake, infuriating Derek further.

Derek is thrown into an empty office with Melanie, who is also infected. After Derek manages to get a phone call out to Vandacorp and ensure his innocence in the mis-handled case, the two decide to work together, break out of the basement, and kill the people on the top floor responsible for their respective bad situations. They first go up to The Reaper and kill two security guards to get to him, witnessing general mayhem along the way. The Reaper gives them his key card, but attacks Melanie, who kills him with a power saw. Derek and Melanie use the key card to get up to The Siren's office and take down an army of coworkers defending her. The Siren asks her long-suffering assistant Meg to get the key card for her, but Meg has destroyed it in a microwave, having been offered a promotion from upstairs to betray The Siren. Her work done, Meg kills The Siren with a pair of scissors, and Derek and Melanie go down to IT to come up with another plan to get up to the top floor.

Derek and Melanie convince the company's one IT worker to hack their other boss Irene Smythe's computer to get her to come down; Smythe is the one who denied Melanie the extension on her loan. Smythe agrees to give Derek her key card in exchange for Melanie. Derek agrees and restrains Melanie, but undoes the bolts on the chair Melanie is fastened to, allowing her to kill Irene and escape. On the top floor, Towers offers Derek a full partnership if he gives up his revenge mission. Derek refuses and fights his boss; the company's board of directors give him permission to kill Towers, and Derek shoves him over a railing, sending him falling from the penthouse to the ground and his death just as the quarantine is lifted and the virus is eradicated.

Derek takes a higher position in the firm for just long enough to sign off on the extension on Melanie's loan, then quits the company and takes up painting with Melanie. He advises the audience to take control of their own lives before it's too late, accompanied by a shot of Towers' body hitting the ground with a splat.



Mayhem was filmed in Belgrade, Serbia in March, 2016.[7] Joe Lynch explained in an interview the decision came down to cost, saying "we had to find a place that would give us the most amount of days to shoot. We went first to Pittsburgh and they said 15 days. Then we went to New Orleans and they said 17 days. Then we tried Vancouver and they said 18 days. But it was not enough time."[8] Serbia was also the filming location of his previous film, Everly.


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 82%, based on 50 critics, with an average score of 7.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Mayhem delivers stylish violence by the bloody bucketful — and grounds all the titular chaos in sharp humor and surprisingly effective real-world economic angst".[9] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10]


  1. ^ Lynch, Joe; Carnahan, Joe (November 29, 2017). "Director Joe Lynch discusses Mayhem". The Director's Cut (Podcast). Directors Guild of America. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Foutch, Haleigh (November 10, 2017). "Joe Lynch on His Action Horror 'Mayhem' and Casting Steven Yeun as His John McClane". Collider. Complex. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  3. ^ Barton, Steve (February 7, 2017). "SXSW 2017: Midnight Titles – Joe Lynch's Mayhem, Leslie Vernon, and More!". Dread Central. Dread Central Media. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  4. ^ Farrow, Kevan (May 20, 2017). "Work Sucks in Cannes Sales Art for Mayhem". Scream. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
  5. ^ Farrow, Kevan (August 8, 2017). "Joe Lynch Unleashes Mayhem in November". Scream. Retrieved August 9, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f DeFore, John (November 9, 2017). "'Mayhem': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (March 16, 2016). "'Walking Dead' Actor Steven Yeun to Star in Action Movie 'Mayhem'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  8. ^ Aitkens, Chris (October 24, 2017). "[Exclusive] Interview With MAYHEM Director Joe Lynch". Nightmare on Film Street. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  9. ^ "Mayhem (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  10. ^ "Mayhem Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved July 16, 2018.

External links[edit]