O Piseu (Office)Cannes Film Festival 2015
Having viciously massacred his family, Kim Byung-Guk (Bae Seong-Woo) turns up to work the next day and sets about terrorising the office, one victim at a time. Though more than one of his co-workers claim to have seen Kim, the detective in charge of the manhunt is unable to lay his hands on the murderer (making the fact that the rest of the employees still turn up for work with a known killer at large in the building completely baffling).
Hong Won-Chan’s O Piseu (Office) has all the key ingredients for a chilling thriller-cum-horror story, including a number of bloody deaths, mind games, and a shocking plot twist. Perhaps most horrific of all is the mundane setting in which these blood-curdling events take place: the office, grey and lifeless, transforming the dullest aspects of our daily lives into the premise for an intense psychological thriller by picking up on the tension and cut-throat behaviour that exists in competitive working environments.
The eerie sound effects chosen to torment the viewer make this the kind of film you are forced to watch, heart racing, with your ears covered and one eye closed: mainly deep mechanical pulsations, like those emitted by a fridge or a muffled foghorn, but manipulated to make your hair stand on end.
Added to that the barely perceptible differentiation between day and night under the fluorescent lights of the office, so that we can never be certain when the killer might strike next. Praying on man’s innate fear of the dark may seem like a predictable card to play in the horror genre, but this particular trick never gets old.
O Piseu (Office) does not yet have a UK release date.
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