Streaming now on Netflix, “The Conference,” directed by Patrick Eklund, delivers a chilling experience for horror enthusiasts this Friday the 13th. Although it doesn’t feature the iconic Jason Voorhees, the film draws inspiration from the legend of the hockey-masked boy. Picture a blend of “Triangle of Sadness” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer” in a corporate setting—a group of profit-driven capitalists attending a work conference before the launch of a land-snatching shopping mall. Eklund’s film skillfully portrays these corporate monsters as inept and malicious, weaving a tale of deceit, greed, and retribution.
Katia Winter, known for her role as Nadia in “Dexter,” shines as Lina, the film’s most sympathetic character, who returns to find her colleagues entangled in corporate misconduct. The story unfolds at a seemingly abandoned summer camp, the backdrop for a corporate retreat gone awry. The employees, diverse in their personalities, navigate the manipulative tactics of their overly cheerful boss, Ingela (played convincingly by Maria Sid).
Eklund wastes no time delving into the thrilling aspects of the film. As the characters argue and Lina investigates the unfolding chaos, a menacing figure wielding a machete lurks in the woods, striking terror among the group. The killer dons a camp mascot head, creating a chilling juxtaposition of the goofy and the terrifying. Meet Slashy, the formidable antagonist of “The Conference.”
While many films have explored the emptiness of corporate motivational jargon, “The Conference” stands out for its efficient storytelling. Eklund masterfully traps his characters and devises inventive ways to dispatch them. The film doesn’t rely on lengthy speeches or slow-building tension; instead, it thrusts the audience into a suspenseful and engaging narrative. In the final scenes, the movie astutely reveals that these characters don’t need a sociopath in the woods to exhibit violence and destructiveness.
“The Conference” is available for streaming on Netflix, offering a thrilling blend of workplace comedy and horror that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.