The Conference (2023)

The Conference (2023)

A Swedish slasher comedy with the world’s worst team building retreat

7.3

Movie

Sweden
Swedish
Comedy, Horror, Thriller
2023
PATRIK EKLUND
Adam Lundgren, Amed Bozan, Bahar Pars
100 min

TLDR

Side eyeing my colleagues right now…

What it's about

A local charter hosts a company retreat for their employees, in hopes for rest and relaxation. However, petty grievances, corporate sabotage, as well as a vengeful slasher, turns this retreat into a nightmare.

The take

Familiarity breeds contempt, and Swedish Netflix’s new horror-comedy takes this idea to the extreme. Based on the novel by Mats Strandberg, who’s known as the Swedish Stephen King, The Conference is centered around a group of employees on their company retreat. With its ensemble, the film crafts a relatable dynamic, with the exact petty back-and-forth and the same exact corporate politics many adults have to deal with. It’s no wonder one of them snaps, and takes them out one by one. The film isn’t exactly new, with the decades’ collection of slashers all over the world, but this Swedish thriller is a fun take on it, with match cut transitions, quick paced sequences, and the gruesome murders of the group most adults spend time with - their colleagues. It’s an interesting watch as the world gets back to the office.

What stands out

As mentioned, The Conference isn’t exactly new, but it’s fun. Most of the film’s characters might not be in depth, but they’re not supposed to be – we know them to the same extent that we know our co-workers. Many of them are delightfully annoying. They pull the same faux positivity to get things done, like “Dream work makes the teamwork” (this made me cringe in remembrance of the correct saying). The worst of them even pulls a whole Scorpion and the Frog situation. And as their co-worker enacts their plan, it’s disturbing to see their gruesome deaths, but it’s also satisfying to laugh at the ridiculousness, in their demise or elsewhere.

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