Now in theaters and VOD, Patrick Brice’s wannabe horror comedy revolves around eight employees at a failing company and their egotistical boss who forces them to participate in a dangerous cave-diving excursion.
Lucy Vanderton (Demi Moore) is the ruthless CEO of Incredible Edible Cutlery, a company battling the detrimental effect that plastic utensils have on the environment. To promote team-building, she’s arranged a corporate spelunking weekend with Brandon (Ed Helms) as their guide.
“If you can navigate the deepest cave systems of New Mexico,” she tells them, “then we can navigate the challenges of today’s business environment.”
Among those participating are Lucy’s two assistants – Freddie (Karan Soni) and Jess (Jessica Williams), both vying for the same major VP promotion – along with middle-aged Gloria (Martha Kelly), jaded Billy (Dan Bakkedahl), hapless Suzy (Nasim Pedrad), disgruntled Derek (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), and the gullible intern Aidan (Calum Worthy).
When there’s a seismic tremor and giant rocks block their only escape tunnel, they’re all entombed in a large, underground cavern with little or no hope of rescue.
A “DAY ONE” title card indicates that their entrapment won’t be short and, when their food – a box of sample products – is depleted, their inevitable starvation leads to an absurd debate about the morbid logistics of cannibalism.
Superficially scripted by Sam Bain (co-creator of British TV’s “Peep Show”) and haphazardly directed by Patrick Brice (“Creep,” “The Overnight”), it’s all about mocking the insidious dynamics of workplace politics and catering to a narcissistic boss – with Britney Spears contributing a voice cameo.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Corporate Animals” is an inconsequential, tiresome 3, a sub-standard, if subversive satire.