Friday, January 27, 2017

Now on Netflix: Not Safe for Work (2014)

Not Safe for Work (2014) - Directed by Joe Johnston; Written by Adam Mason, Simon Boyes; Starring Max Minghella, Eloise Mumford, Christian Clemenson, J.J. Feild, Tom Gallop.

By Kenny Howell

Blumhouse Productions at its most Blumiest.

I have had a deep admiration for Blumhouse for quite awhile, not so much because of the movies, though some are good, but how the company is run.

Jason Blum figured out a way to make a ton of money making movies by cutting parts of the production that were expensive like multiple locations or heavy special effects. That is just the tip of the iceberg of things he cuts down on to make a huge profit. But he never seems to sacrifice quality too much for those cuts.

In addition to that, he brought in people or ideas who could capture an audience working within his rules. The Paranormal Activity films, The Purge films, Sinister and even the multiple Oscar winning Whiplash, and my Best Picture of 2014, are all Blumhouse. I admire it because he is outsmarted tons of executives and taking it all to the bank.

Not Safe For Work is all those things Blumhouse espouses at work. It takes place almost totally in one building, has a few familiar faces, and gets as much as it can with its slim story.

Max Minghella plays Thomas, a paralegal at a prestigious law firm. He is trying to make a name for himself by giving the lawyers some ideas, but it ends up coming off as stepping on their toes. He is fired for the endless badgering, and as he is leaving, he notices something weird down in the lobby. A man sits down a suitcase, and another comes by and picks it up and heads for the elevator. He can't help himself, so he finds a way to follow the man upstairs even though his keycard no longer works.

Once up there, it becomes clear that this guy is up to no good because he shoots one of the late workers in the back of the head. That starts Thomas' fight for survival as he is sort of trapped in the office by the man. He also wants to get to the bottom of why the guy is there.

Not Safe for Work is perfectly passable. It's a solid thriller, nothing outstanding, just fairly well told until the ending, which is seemingly not there. It almost seems like the film ran out of money, especially with the 74 minute running time. Still, as thrillers go, it works well enough to be something you fill OK coming across on Netflix one night.

Not Safe for Work is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: **1/2

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