On the Scathing, Dysfunctional-Clan Dramedy The Vicious Kind
It's a telling detail that indie film's premier misanthrope, Neil LaBute, has an executive producer credit on writer-director Lee Toland Krieger's scathing, dysfunctional-clan dramedy. Meet small-town Connecticut construction worker Caleb Sinclaire (Adam Scott, blistering), a sleep-deprived misogynist who maliciously projects his bitterness and insecurities on anyone foolish enough to come near. "All women are whores," he schools his younger brother, Peter (Alex Frost), who has come home from college for Thanksgiving, bringing along his new girlfriend, Emma (Brittany Snow). Reminded of the ex who cheated on himand also his estranged father (J.K. Simmons) and late mother's split over adulteryCaleb is convinced Emma is no better. This dude is messed up: First, he's threatening to kill her if she hurts his bro, then he's apologizing, flirting, and stalking her. So emerges a twisted, most unexpected love triangle. Implausible? Well, who are college girls more likely to want: the sweet virgin or the disturbed bad boy? Inevitably, the film devolves into weepy catharsis, but with slick cinematography and colorfully cruel dialogue for Scott to chew up and spit at every member of this fine ensemble. The Vicious Kind is the most entertaining Neil LaBute movie he never made.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.