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Horror Becomes Her - Office Killer (1997)

Horror and films directed by women are both big blind spots for me, so I am taking this deep dive into some of the more outre films I have come across in my movie watching.

Clearly, Office Killer was going for a certain indie pedigree of well-shot genre pictures with interesting twists. Famous producer Christine Vachon is attached to this movie who made the careers of famous queer auteurs like Todd Haynes and Kimberly Pierce. The cast has some recognizable faces even if none of them were big stars (Molly Ringwald, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Carol Kane). Perhaps they thought this movie could have a Pulp Fiction like effect in reviving their somewhat stalled careers at this point.

It’s too bad that the overall product isn’t particularly impressive. It’s a little too muted to come off as a true exploitation picture and a little too lurid to come off as a serious drama. It goes for some notes of comedy with Carol Kane’s natural quirkiness and Molly Ringwald playing a very driven, mean-spirited co-worker. But Ringwald’s role is actually undercut by the fact that she is right. Ultimately, the movie doesn’t really know what it wants to be. However, I didn’t hate the entire product. The best way to describe its effect was that I kind of liked how this film had pretensions for being something daring and original. The muted, ugly aesthetic was definitely a choice, and the moral ambiguity of the entire project is pretty interesting as well, since we’re not asked to either root for or despise Carol Kane’s character. Yet, Office Killer could only entertain these ideas and not explore them fully.

 

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