Monday, November 20, 2017


Derek Cho is slowly climbing up the corporate ladder at his work by finding loopholes to save his clients money. He’s not very happy, but he’s successful so he doesn’t think much about working constantly and not spending time with his family. It all comes crashing down one day when a toxic but influential coworker frames him for a huge mistake and he’s fired. At the same time, the whole building is under quarantine due to a dangerous contagion that reduces people to their base emotions. Can Derek get his job back? Will he even want it back when the disease runs its course?

Mayhem is so much fun. I expected it to be a carbon copy of The Belko Experiment, but it was so
much better. Steven Yeun as Derek Cho is so likable despite being a soulless corporate tool at the outset of the movie. He came into the job so fresh faced and hopeful only to become jaded so quickly when faced with reality I felt so angry for him that his coworker (the Siren) constantly disrespected him because of her position and then get him fired to save herself. The coffee cup theft was particularly infuriating because it symbolized her entitlement to all that is his and her disdain. Even when Derek is affected by the virus, he remains sympathetic because of his righteous fury and charming nature.

The disease rampant in this office unleashes the infected people's base desires and emotions. They have the urge to brawl, kill, cry, scream, eat, do drugs, or have sex depending on their mood, all without the usual filters that prevent us from doing so. One eye of the infected looks like a blood vessel burst and it eventually spreads to everyone in the building. A precedent has already been set legally that any crimes done in this state are not responsible for their actions even in cases of murder. As a result, the bosses hole up on the inaccessible top floor with their drugs, luxuries, and relative peace while chaos reigns everywhere else. It also puts a time limit on Derek's mission.

The violence has a cartoonish, over the top quality with humor and a video game formula that keeps the film from becoming too dark or serious. Derek has to go through mini-boss figures to get to his true target, John Towers AKA the Boss. At first, his goal is to make his case and get his job back. When it's clear they have no interest in hearing his side and he becomes infected, he wants to kill the Boss. The first mini-boss is the Reaper, a sardonic man who carries out firing employees. The next is the Siren who whispers life ruining lies into the Boss's ear. Derek is accompanied by Melanie, a woman caught in the building after he refused to help her get her house back from foreclosure.

Mayhem is a blast to watch with humor, over the top gore, and biting social commentary. It was seriously one of the most enjoyable films of the year and close to the movie I wanted The Belko Experiment to be. Steven Yeun and Samara Weaving are so fun to what and remain sympathetic no matter how many people they kill. Anyone who has worked in a corporate job will relate to him and cheer for them cutting down the corporate ladder to get to the boss.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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