Gorehounds and splatterpunks can rejoice, when they see this film, that lives up to its name, if you think all hell breaking loose, absolutely, and then some. In fact, it actually follows the concept of gonzo, which is what some horror fans, desperately seek, and can admire thanks to RLJ Entertainment. It focusses on a duo working their way to the top of an office building just like any other worker, however this time it’s the direct result of an airborne disease, which encourages people to act on impulses, namely anger. Director Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2: Dead End )) heads the project with screenwriter Matlas Caruso, known for the exceptional short horror film The Dollmaker , and made sure to give audiences a well-paced, actually that’s not a correct term, feverish paced movie.
One needs to note that this movie emerged 3-years before the 2020 pandemic, so it very interesting the filmmakers show the transmitting of a disease, stroke of hair, wiping one’s nose with bare hands, touching coffee pot, elevator buttons, drinking from an open pitcher of water, it’s quite incredible how a mass pandemic had not occurred sooner. The news broadcasts in the film, note how in a year it all goes away, everything to return to normal, art predicting our reality, the ID-7 disease is commonly called Red-Eye because of the single red-eye it gives to the infected and it removes all social norm, and moral behaviors, for some that it’s impulsive sexual desires and for the majority of other individuals it’s a breeding ground for rage, anger, bloodlust, and wanton murderous passions. The firm, Towers & Smythe Consulting is where the latest outbreaks occur which is the same one that worked as the legal team of a client named Nevil for the ‘Red-Eye Defense’ to remove blame for a murder by blaming it on the paranoia of the infection; this plays off the infamous ‘twinkie defense’. The filmmakers clearly note the loathsome shallow lawyers, how they’re all vicious piranhas ready to feed on each other for the crumbs on the table; most of the co-workers already on the borderline losing their impulse control as they feed on each other for the almighty dollar. The corporate executive in control is John Towers (Steven Brand (The Demons )), who believes and willing to sacrifice others beneath him for his personal gain, from scapegoats to sexual harassment, whatever he wants he feels entitled to have it. The primary lead character Derek Cho (Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead fame), gives some necessary narrative, of how the corporate world operates within the firm. However, following some backstabbing, he finds fired with a significant problem the building is quarantined cause of the virus, and soon the mayhem starts with everyone causing bloodshed. He, along with a client Melanie Cross (Samara Weaving (The Babysitter )), who faced foreclosure proceedings, find themselves trapped inside the building both seeking retribution for the wrongdoing to them. All sorts of weapons are used to defend and slaughter everyone they come in contact with, such as, hammers, nail guns, fire extinguishers, nothing quite like watching an office setting going completely mad, and lawyers slice-n-dice each other. As they venture to each, needing a key card to advance levels (sort of like a video game), starting with the human resources department boss, nicknamed The Reaper (Dallas Roberts (My Friend Dahmer )), then to the person who caused his downfall Kara (Caroline Chikezie), before tracking down more executives, as Towers plays a chess game with financial bonus for the board of directors’ survival.
Lynch brings a sweeping amount of ultra-violence throughout a majority of the film, without it seeming repetitive, and aiding in this is the chemistry that Yeun and Weaving have between them, and their characters present as realistic, the stressful situations become more insane. I’ve not forgotten about the gore-hounds’ passion, there’s a decent of violence and blood splatter nothing like Re-Animator  or Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive , due to a comedic tone but it works with creative editing. One note of trivia, at the beginning of the movie, where everyone appears to be beating the shot of their coworkers and bosses, there’re two employees actually on the set, having set the ultimate exhibitionism, they were a real loving couple; this also appears to be the only individuals indulging in the act of sexual wanton pleasure rather than violence; in hindsight it is best the film didn’t display the physical sexual violence, i.e., rape.
First, this movie serves clearly how any virus is transmitted, face it, think of pinkeye or the commonplace flu, and if one person in the office gets it, it spreads so quickly, the movie shows the office setting of corporate worlds is the most containment and dirtiest places. Then the film, hints to an underlying message the workers check their morals at the front door and serve their masters, but doesn’t beat it to death, that’s left the characters. The carnage is spread over the walls and floors, an unrelenting bizarre movie that still makes for an enjoyable entertainment.
- Work. Environment.
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 6.0/10