20 Horror Movies That Take Place at the Office

These horror movies will make you never look at a 9-to-5 the same way again.

A virus causes office workers to turn feral in Mayhem (2017).

There’s nowhere a horror movie can’t be set. What could be more dreadful than the places we work? The office can be a place that brings everyday personal terror and misery into people’s lives. Having to sit in rush-hour traffic to and from work takes years off your life. The mundanity of a 9-to-5 drains the very soul out of you. A slacker coworker—or even worse, a coworker that tries to insert themselves into your life—can be the bane of your existence. Not to mention the bosses who make your heart drop to the pit of your stomach at the mere sight of their disapproving face. 

Horror shows that things can get much worse than team-building retreats, meetings, and spreadsheets—deadly, even. From stalkers to vampires to zombies to serial killers, the genre has no shortage of nightmare situations in the workplace. The 20 horror movies cataloged below all take place at the office, and might just make you be grateful for the job you do have.

Office Killer (1997)

Molly Ringwald is a coworker of Dorine’s at Constant Consumer magazine.

Office Killer is the only feature film directed by photographer Cindy Sherman, whose breakthrough work is largely considered to be Untitled Still Films, a series of black and white self-portraits that summon female roles in media, namely arthouse films and B movies. The movie stars When A Stranger Calls final girl Carol Kane as Dorine Douglas, a copy editor at Constant Consumer magazine. After budget cuts, her job is turned into an at-home position and she’s forced to tend more to her domineering disabled mother. After being called into the office one night to help fix a coworker’s computer, she accidentally kills him via electrocution. She takes his body home to ease her loneliness. Soon, her basement becomes populated with the corpses of her dead coworkers. 

P2 (2007)

A businesswoman is trapped with her security guard stalker in P2.

This Christmas horror movie will make every woman never want to put in overtime hours again. Angela Bridges (Rachel Nichols), a young businesswoman working in Midtown Manhattan, has high ambitions in the corporate world. On Christmas Eve she gets stuck working late at the office. When she finally decides to head out to her family gathering, her BMW won’t start. After getting some help from the only security guard left on duty, Thomas Barclay (Wes Bentley), her car still won’t start, so she calls a cab, but she can’t leave the lobby—all the doors to the building are locked. She heads back to garage P2, where she becomes the target of the unhinged, psychopathic security guard. 

Pontypool (2008)

A radio DJ endures a zombie apocalypse from his booth.

Pontypool is a Canadian horror film directed by Bruce McDonald and written by Tony Burgess, based on his 1995 novel Pontypool Changes Everything. The office in this movie is a basement radio station in the small Ontario town of Pontypool. Radio host Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) comes in for what he thinks is going to be just another day at work with his technical assistant Laurel-Ann Drummond (Georgina Riley) and station manager Sydney Briar (Lisa Houle). People start calling in with reports of a virus that transforms people into zombies. Trapped in a snowstorm, Grant and his team barricade themselves in the radio booth as they try to warn listeners and figure out how to save themselves. The mode of transmission is one they never thought possible. 

Exam (2009)

Desperate job seekers compete against each other in Exam.

This British psychological horror was written, directed, and produced by Stuart Hazeldine, and it got him nominated for a BAFTA Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. The movie stars Colin Salmon, Pollyanna McIntosh, Gemma Chan, Chukwudi Iwuji, Nathalie Cox, Adar Beck, Jimi Mistry, Luke Mably, Chris Carey, and John Lloyd Fillingham. It follows eight job candidates competing for a highly desirable corporate job at DATAPREV. Having passed all the previous hiring steps, they’ve reached the final stage of selection. They’re locked together in a windowless room with a security guard at the door, where they’re given the following orders: “There is no law in this room but our law, and the only rules in here are our rules. There is one question before you, and one answer is required. If you try to communicate with myself or the guard, you will be disqualified. If you spoil your paper, intentionally or accidentally, you will be disqualified. If you choose to leave this room for any reason, you will be disqualified.” After turning over their papers, they find them blank, and confusion ensues. Things get tense as they try to figure out the question, and soon it becomes a fight for survival. 

Cabin in the Woods (2011)

It’s a bad day at the office for the suits in Cabin in the Woods.

So, maybe “office horror” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about this movie, but it’s definitely a prime example of a bad day at the workplace. This meta horror explores tired horror tropes and completely subverts the genre. It follows a group of college friends as they travel to a remote cabin in the forest for weekend getaway. Little do they know that they’re being watched and that their retreat is being controlled by employees at some nondescript, mysterious workstation that’s part of a secret organization. 

Compliance (2012) 

Becky (Dreama Walker) is strip searched by her manager at her fast food job in Compliance.

The plot of this movie is loosely based on a real life strip search scam that took place in Mount Washington, Kentucky. During a busy shift at a fast food restaurant, manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) receives a call from someone claiming to be a police officer who tells her that a young employee, Becky (Dreama Walker), has stolen money from a customer. Sandra takes her back to her office, and follows the instructions from the man on the line. What ensues is an hours-long nightmare for Becky. 

Last Shift (2014)

A rookie cop has the last shift at a closing police station.

Last Shift features probably the most stressful workplace situation in cinema. It’s one of the most terrifying movies to watch, and one you probably shouldn’t watch alone. The film follows Jessica Loren (Juliana Harkavy), a rookie cop tasked with taking the last night shift of a police station that’s closing down. All she has to do is keep watch until the hazmat crew comes in the next day to pick up leftover evidence. As she works alone through the night in the empty building, creepy things start to happen and crazy phone calls start coming in.  Unbeknownst to her, there’s a sinister evil haunting the department. A remake titled Malum, also written and directed by Anthony DiBlasi, was created in 2023. 

The Belko Experiment (2016)

Office politics turn into office warfare in The Belko Experiment.

The Belko Experiment is directed by Wolf Creek’s Greg McLean and written and produced by James Gunn. The story is set in the high-rise office building of Belko Industries in Bogotá, Colombia, where 80 American employees work for the company. It opens with employee Barry Norris (Tony Goldwin) witnessing unfamiliar guards turn away local Colombian staff at the gate. Shortly after, new employee Dany Wilkins reports for duty and is told everyone on staff is implanted with a tracking device to keep them safe abroad. Once all workers have clocked in, a voice on the intercom gives them an order: two employees must be killed in the next 30 minutes, or there will be consequences for everyone. More ultimatums follow, and everyone in the office becomes a pawn in a twisted game of “kill or be killed.”

Mayhem (2017)

Samara Weaving and Steven Yeun star in Mayhem (2017).

This film, which blends action, horror and dark comedy, stars iconic scream queen Samara Weaving alongside Steven Yeun. The story is set in a world in which the fictional ID-7 “Red Eye” virus removes the inhibition from all those infected and causes them to act out on their impulses, robbing them of their morality. It starts with young, successful lawyer Derek Cho (Yeun) being wrongfully terminated at work, after he is framed for a botched case by his superior. He had previously successfully fought a case in which his client was held not legally responsible for murder due to the virus’ influence, which earned him the corporate office he just lost. As he’s being escorted out, the building is put under quarantine because the virus has been detected in the ventilation system. It will take eight hours for a neutralizing agent to obliterate it. During that time, mayhem ensues. Derek joins forces with a former client (Weaving) who was wronged by the firm to get even with the executives on the top floor. 

Into the Dark: Down (2019)

An office worker just wants to go home, but is instead trapped in an elevator with a mysterious man in Down.

Down is an entry into Hulu’s Into the Dark film series. The movie is a slow-burn with great payoff that implements some compelling and memorable scenes, as well as great character development. It follows Jennifer Robbins (Natalie Martinez) and Guy (Matt Laura) the evening before Valentine’s Day. They have been working late at the office in the same building on different floors. The two end up taking the same elevator, which abruptly stops. They worry they may be stuck until Tuesday because offices are closed for President’s Day on Monday. Soon, chemistry brews between them, but Guy isn’t who he portrays to be. 

More horror movies set in the workplace…

The Thing (1982) a group of American researchers on a base in remote Antarctica are hunted by a shift-shaping alien.  

Intruder (1989) features a supermarket as the workplace. An overnight stocking crew are stalked and hunted down by an unknown killer. 

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) this sequel to the 1984 movie is set at the corporate offices of Clamp Enterprises, where furry Gizmo has become a subject of research. Zach Galligan (Billy Pletzer), now an employee of the company, rescues him, hides him, and leaves him alone in the office. After a drinking fountain breaks and spills water on him, he multiplies. The Gremlins are uncontrollable and hellbent on destruction. 

Severance (2006) a team-building retreat in the mountains goes horribly wrong as the sales representatives attending are hunted down one by one by a psychotic killer lurking in the woods.

Not Safe for Work (2014) this thriller centers around a paralegal trapped inside an office building with a killer. The movie follows him as he tries to save his coworkers and himself. 

Free Fall (2014) after discovering a dangerous secret about her boss, Jane Porter (Sarah Butler) is trapped in an elevator by an assassin sent to silence her forever.

Office (2015) a South Korean slasher-thriller about a man who kills his entire family after work one day. The detective on the case realizes that he entered his office after the murders, but never exited. 

Bloodsucking Bastards (2015) a horror-comedy about a sales manager and his slacker co-worker bestie discover that their new boss is a vampire sinking his fangs into everyone at the office. 

The End? (2017) an Italian zombie horror about a businessman who gets trapped in his office, while a zombie apocalypse takes place outside. 

The Possession of Hannah Grace (2018) the “office” setting here is a morgue at a city hospital. A cop who has just gotten out of rehab takes a job as the graveyard shift at Boston Metro Hospital’s morgue. Throughout her shift, she experiences a series of sinister and terrifying events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.

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Meet The Author

Natalia is a writer, poet, and collage artist living in Houston, Texas. Her favorite scary movies include Pearl, Midsommar, and Jennifer’s Body. In her spare time, she enjoys writing “good for her” horror fiction.