Jennifer Liao's dark comedy with a supernatural twist End of Days, Inc.
opens here in Toronto, Friday, February 19th, at the Carlton Cinema. Liao, producer Sandy Kellerman, and the cast (Carolyne Maraghi, Janet Porter, Anna Ferguson, Yulia Petrauskas, and Paulino Nunes) will be in attendance at the 7pm screening on opening night.
End of Days, Inc. will then screen at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival on March 11th at 9:30pm at the Vancity Theatre.
The staff of Godfrey Global Inventory arrive for their last day of work as the company will close its doors. Mr. Godfrey announces to the staff that he and his sister are hosting a party after work where the staff will get their severance checks. At the party the staff are coerced into working throughout the night to complete the rest of the inventory. If they succeed then they will all receive a very substantial check in the morning. However, as they work late into the night they begin to suspect that something is not right and that their jobs may in fact be bringing about the end of the world. Do they keep on working? Will they survive until the end of the shift? And have the checks already been signed?
Anna Ferguson and Paulino Nunes are the anchors of this film. Nunes is diabolical and funny as company owner Mr. Godfrey and Ferguson is terrific as his twin sister Esther. While Nunes and Ferguson get to go over the top Mark O'Brien, Carolyne Maraghi and Janet Porter get the straight roles to a point. The final employee Mort, played by Paul Sun-hyung Lee, bridges the gap between serious and funny when he 'comes back' (His name is Mort after all) after asking for his severance check earlier that night.
Director Jennifer Liao, who also produced with Sandy Kellerman, allows the actors and the script to do the work for her. Her principal cast all have a great handle on the humor in the script. In what could be categorized as an action scene, with the fight between bombshell receptionist Misty and Esther she lets the action and stunt team fill the frame appropriately.
Some of the humor slipped by but Christina Ray's script had way more hits than misses which results in an often funny experience. A trade up of characters midway through the story does upset the pace a bit as the audience has to acquaint themselves with a new addition but other than that the story flows smoothly. The total package is bolstered by a quirky musical score from collaborators Maria Molinari and Rohan Staton.
It might be easy to dismiss the ensemble comedy End of Days, Inc. It would come across as unassuming, and being quirky simply for the sake of being quirky, in the trailer. However, the humor is often more subtle than that and can sneak up on you. With a limited release so far I hope more get to watch this very funny dark comedy.
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