Suburban Mayhem

Though stylishly directed and uniformly well acted, Suburban Mayhem nevertheless comes off as an unpleasant, utterly pointless crime movie that possesses next to no attributes designed to capture (and sustain) the viewer’s interest. The woefully thin storyline follows rebellious young woman Katrina Skinner (Emily Barclay) as she wreaks havoc throughout her small Australian neighborhood, with a particular emphasis on the impact that her destructive presence has on her friends and family (including, in terms of the latter, her jailed brother and long-suffering father). The plotless sensibilities of Alice Bell’s script grow increasingly problematic as Suburban Mayhem progresses, as there’s never a point at which one is drawn into the plight of the central character – which, despite an admittedly striking performance from Barclay, ultimately cements the feeling that Katrina Skinner simply isn’t intriguing enough a figure to carry an entire movie on her own. It’s subsequently not surprising to note that Bell’s decision to stress stand-alone vignettes results in an almost unbearably spotty atmosphere, with the movie largely dominated by pointless interludes that prove a test to one’s patience. And while there are a few exceptions to this (ie Katrina’s brother attempts to rob a convenience store armed with a samurai sword), Suburban Mayhem‘s increasingly haphazard modus operandi will surely force even the most forgiving viewer to throw their arms up in frustration. (The astonishingly ugly sequence in which Katrina directs an associate to murder a puppy with a tire iron stands as the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, as one can’t help but tune out for the remainder of the movie’s interminable running time.)

*1/2 out of ****

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