Directed by Brian James O’Connell. Starring Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Joey Kern, Joel Murray, Emma Fitzpatrick, Yvette Yates, Justin Ware, Sean Cowhig, Marshall Givens, David F. Park. (2015, NR, 86 min.)
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 4, 2015
Repopulating the cubicle horrors of cult favorite Office Space with actual corporate vampires may seem like an awfully obvious metaphor – capitalism sucks, literally! – but director O’Connell and a thoroughly game cast drawn from the Dr. God comedy troupe – think Broken Lizard crew with way more gore – score high marks for witty workplace humor and horror in equal measure. It’s not quite Severance, and there’s a serious debt to Shaun of the Dead here, but a casketful of gruesome, spot-on gags and some inspired, third-act, comical cross-cutting make it an entertaining riff on the modern Nosferatu genre with more than its share of genuine belly laughs.
Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods’ lovable, paranoid stoner) is Evan, a midlevel employee of a soulless corporation that’s just been taken over by the suit-and-tie smarm-master Max (Pascal). The fact that Evan and Max already have plenty of bad blood – no pun intended – between them due to Max’s dalliance with Evan’s girlfriend and future human-resources head (ha!) Amanda (Fitzpatrick) back in college is mined for throwaway jokes galore. Also turning in a hellaciously wacky performance is Givens, whose security guard manages almost as much sangfroid as the vampiric overlords themselves. The jokes are relentless; a few fall flat, but many more actually hit their marks, especially as the film picks up steam and the predictable rivers of gore start flowing.
Case in point: These vampires are able to stalk around in the daylight because the shitty fluorescent lighting and lack of windows in the building effectively render it nighttime all the time. Cubicle monkeys will get a kick out of all the modern workplace irritants that come in for skewering, and while this isn’t anywhere near a classic of the comedy-horror genre, it’s still a well-written work of splatstick that’s more downright engaging than 90% of the “serious” (i.e., mediocre) horrors that have flooded theatres of late.