Last March, I, like hundreds of thousands of other people, found myself laid off. For the first time in years, I actually had time to think, but ironically, I thought a lot about work. It’s kind of depressing how so much of our lives revolve around working. What’s worse is that for many of us, if we want any recognition, any hope of a raise or promotion, or sometimes even to just keep our jobs, we have to dedicate more and more of our lives to outdo our coworkers. If you’ve ever had a job that just sucked the life right out of you, check out Keeping Company and it will make you feel a whole lot better about your situation. No matter how badly your day went, you probably didn’t end up in a serial killer’s basement.
Sonny (Devin Das) and Noah (Ahmed Bharoocha) are salesmen for Caste Insurance. Noah, with his heart of gold, looks for the beauty in any situation, while Sonny wants to be a shark in the company pond. When cutthroat boss Paula (Gillian Vigman) threatens to fire Sonny if he doesn’t bring up his sales, the two go out on a mission to knock on every door and sell as many plans as possible. Unfortunately, uninsured serial killer Lucas (Jacob Grodnik) taps Sonny’s car. Not wanting to miss an opportunity, Sonny chases Lucas, and eventually he and Noah barge their way into his home, only to find themselves chained up in his basement. Do you think they can turn the sale around?
Keeping Company, directed by Josh Wallace (Funny or Die), is a horror comedy that will keep you on your toes. I had a lot of fun guessing what would happen next, only to be wrong every single time. This film is brutal, gory, and hilarious! It’s like a twisted marriage between the irony and bloodiness of Fargo and the deadpan, slapstick comedy of The Office. The gnarly practical effects and the intriguing cinematography by Adam Brant will have you seeing red and picking out little Easter eggs in each frame, too.
My favorite part about the film was the cast, playing characters that are comically over the top, but still relatable. Who doesn’t have an overly cheerful coworker like Noah, or that guy that would stab you in the back to get a promotion like Sonny? Who hasn’t had a crooked boss that uses negative reinforcement to get you to work harder like Paula? There are so many nuggets of hilarity, goofiness, and truth to this movie, I dare to say it would be impossible not to enjoy it.
If you want a dark comedy with gratuitous gore, or if you just want to feel better about your own job, do yourself a favor and watch Keeping Company. Don’t just take my word for it, though, as this film recently won Panic Fest 2021’s Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film, as well as Best Feature Film at Grimmfest 2021, and Best Midnight Movie at the 2021 San Francisco Independent Film Festival!
Movie Score: 4/5
[Image Credit: Das Devin and Ahmed Bharoocha in Keeping Company via Josh Wallace.]