Mayhem 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
I think everyone that watches (or watched in many cases) ‘The Walking Dead’ liked Glenn. In a series full of meaningless characters, Glenn was the average guy that actually had a character arc, brought to life by actor Steven Yeun. But it wasn’t until I sat down to watch him lead the campy horror film MAYHEM that I realized just how good and likeable Yeun really is. MAYEHM isn’t a genre defining film, but it’s a surprisingly fun horror film that keeps the audience entertained.
Derek (Yeun) is a fast rising mid-level executive at a legal consulting firm that has become disillusioned with his position and is sick of the corporate life. Things get worse for him when he discovers a plot by his higher-ups to blame him for one of their mistakes, eventually leading to his firing. But what he doesn’t know is that while he’s fighting to save his job, there’s a viral outbreak spreading through his office building that causes the infected to lose all of their self-control. As Derek and everyone around him become inflicted, Derek teams up with the recently wronged Melanie (Weaving) to take their anger out on “The Boss” (Steven Brand) and fight their way to the top level. So the second half of the film plays out like THE RAID, but with mentally unstable assailants.
As a comedy, MAYHEM gets off to a strong start, especially when the outbreak first begins. There are some hilarious moments as people become infected and start randomly punching each other or hurling insults at coworkers. But as the goal of getting to the top comes into focus, the comedy takes a backseat as the film takes a more serious turn. I would hesitate to say the movie takes itself too seriously, but there are moments in the third act that were too heavy for the kind of movie they made.
As a horror or action film, MAYHEM has some fun moments. There are no superheroes or ex-soldiers in the film, so everyone is fighting with whatever office supplies they find laying around. Some of the scenes got pretty outlandish at times but even with that, I think they could have taken things further. This is the kind of movie that embraced its over-the-top nature and it would have been fun to see them take it a step further.
But the enjoyment of the film really comes back to Steven Yeun, who is embraces his leading man turn in a genre he’s obviously very familiar with. MAYHEM was a good example of what he can do when given the chance, so hopefully he’ll continue to get leading-man type roles.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: I don’t watch many 4K UHD’s that don’t have HDR, so whenever one comes along that doesn’t have it, I always get caught off guard. So once I readjusted my TV set, the non-HDR 4K transfer is just a nominal upgrade over the Blu-ray. This is a lower-budget film and there are plenty of times that’s obvious (something was wrong with the lighting in the The Boss’s office), but for the most part, the upgrades over the Blu-ray are going to be subtle, if noticeable at all. I’m always hesitant to bash a movie like this for video presentation because I want all movies, regardless of budget, to embrace the 4K format. However, I’m not sure I can make the case for the upgrade with this one.
Audio: The same DTS-MA track from the Blu-ray is included on the 4K.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
There are no special features exclusive to the 4K, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
Creating Mayhem: The Making of the Film: This is exactly what the title suggests; a quick making-of featurette that has some behind the scenes footage and covers the basics of making the film.