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Photographer Cindy Sherman has made a name for herself as a leading American visual artist. She now enters the world of filmmaking with a wry, quirky horror flick – without overdoing the associated gore. Her fans won’t want to miss this excursion.
This is a low-budget production that flaunts its cheapness. The plot is simple in its tale of a crazy employee who resorts to some nasty methods to downsize her fellow office workers, after she learns that her employer, magazine Constant Consumer is cost-cutting by reducing staff. Dorine Douglas (Carol Kane) is at the lower pay scale of the operation and, due to these cutbacks, is forced to do some work from home. She has a drab, boring appearance and personality and lives with a disabled, yet nagging, mother (Alice Drummond). Due to a faulty computer at the office, she accidentally electrocutes an obnoxious freelance writer late one night. From there, her vengeful spirit seems to be released and goes on an evil rampage.
Some of the other office workers don’t deserve much sympathy in their own way, and are targets for Dorine’s actions. The sophisticated Norah (Jeanne Tripplehorn) delivers the news of the office cutbacks and her attitude doesn’t endear herself to others more mild-mannered. She is even detected as stealing money from the company. The perky Kim (Molly Ringwald) is a typical young, urban professional who is a pain in the neck to most around her. The office boss Virginia (Barbara Sukowa) is an asthmatic, chain-smoking publisher who projects a certain nastiness.
When Dorine schemes her terrible deeds, she drags the dead bodies home and sits them around her basement rumpus room. Some of the scenes thereafter are excruciating, yet hysterical, in some ways. But this is all rich in Cindy Sherman’s imagery. Close-up shots and macabre images are the visual strengths. She wraps up all those horror-movie clichés and associates them with the modern-day office politics in a tidy package. She uses flickering neon lights and flashes of lighting to good effect. The cast is well assembled yet it needed a slightly better script to lift the film. It’s still worth a look for some unconventional actions, humorous moments, and small doses of suspense. A wacky film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.