Keeping Company is billed as a sort of horror-comedy, but to me, it was funny because it puts a mirror up to society and asks, “See?”.
Keeping Company (2022)
Directed by: Josh Wallace
Written by: Devin Das & Josh Wallace
Starring: Jacob Grodnik, Ahmed Bharoocha, Devin Das, Gillian Vigman, Andy Buckley, Medina Senghore, Suzanne Savoy, Bernard White, William Russ, and Rex Lee.
Right away we see the pressures status plays on the main character, Sonny. His father doesn’t respect him, and nor does his job. All Sonny wants is to climb the corporate ladder to gain respect from his father, and his peers. Unfortunately, that drive leads him to the horror aspect of this film. Everyone in this film only has their best interests in mind.
For me, it was hard to sympathize with any of the characters, and I think that’s a good thing. They all had their merits, but mainly displayed what drives them for their own gain, over, and over, and over. Noah keeps mentioning his orphaned upbringing, Sonny has his Dad’s pressure, the boss at Caste Insurance just wanted money - their character traits were very one dimensional. Except for who we are to see as the villain here - Lucas. Lucas is working for his “grandmother” and is the one kidnapping people for her, ahem, business. He’s the only character with a textbook redemption arc, but he’s merely the background story. We’re meant to focus on Sonny.
Surrounded by horror
All I could think while watching this film was it’s a glorious commentary on business. Upon reading an interview with the filmmakers, I was glad to see that was the point. According to Devin Das, this film “explores the ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ and ‘dog-eat-dog’ mentalities that arise from capitalistic societies”. From the urban back alleys, to the quaint suburban neighborhoods, greed took over every aspect of what drives those communities. Cleaning up the streets was to benefit the politician, not the homeless. The insurance company was to make the boss rich, not to help those seeking a policy. Sonny’s dad calling Caste Insurance to get his son’s policy money, not to ask about the death of his only son. This is why the filmmakers focus on the color red for the film.
“we saw these mentalities everywhere we looked so it made sense to drench the whole movie in red to match what we saw. To make the color inescapable and ever present”.Devin Dias - writer, lead actor Keeping Company
At first, I laughed at some of the genuinely funny bits. Noah’s genuine happiness, and oblivious nature is charming. The humor soon became dark as the film reflects our world too well. I wasn’t laughing anymore.
However, just because I stopped laughing, didn’t mean I disliked the film. Quite the opposite. I loved it. While I like my horror to be a distraction from the world, I highly enjoyed what the film was portraying. It IS uncomfortable. It IS everywhere. Sometimes, we just need to sit back, and laugh at ourselves for a bit.