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Release Date: 10/06/23 [VOD]
Genre: Horror.

Studio: Paramount Pictures.

"When a city is terrorized by a sadistic serial killer, a seasoned detective and a newly recruited paramedic discover the key to stopping the bloodshed lies in unlocking the truth of their own haunted pasts." 


In the gritty, scorched streets of Seattle, Vindicta introduces us to Lou (Elena Kampouris, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 & 3), a paramedic trainee with an unusual set of skills, including preternatural fighting abilities and a fluency in both Latin and Mandarin. 


From the outset, the city appears as if it's perpetually ablaze, mirroring the fiery turmoil within Lou herself. She constantly grapples with the haunting memory of her mother's death, and she blames herself for what happened. 


On her first day on the job, Lou crosses paths with a ruthless serial killer who resembles a low-budget Michael Myers, complete with a mask modeled after a Roman sculpture. This killer's signature is leaving cryptic messages written in Latin and scrawled in blood.


As the body count piles up and more and more people are found dead, Lou finds herself at the center of the murders, both because of her new job and because of a mysterious link with the killer. 


The movie also costars Jeremy Piven as Lou’s father and a former cop, and Sean Astin as the local fire chief.


Director Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer) does a capable enough job here, but the movie ultimately falls apart because of poor writing. Screenwriters Ian Neligh, in his first major credit, and Steven Paul, a veteran of the Baby Geniuses franchise, team up to repeatedly force some otherwise talented actors to fumble through awkward and overstuffed dialogue during high-stress situations. It's a tired trope from countless other films, and it certainly doesn't find any redemption here.


What’s more, most of the kills are more laughable than menacing, and there are many, many bizarre editing choices that undermine what could have been tense and interesting moments. There are times when the action almost teeters on being "so bad it's good," but the film takes itself too seriously.


Ultimately, Vindicta is marred by lackluster writing, poor editing, and a twisty final act that just falls apart.


For a movie about a series of brutal murders and set in a city engulfed in flames, it sure is boring. 


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