The Mill (2023) Movie Review – Hulu’s new workplace horror may entice you to quit your job

Hulu’s new workplace horror may entice you to quit your job

Workplace horror has been around for decades. Even if it is done outside the genre, in drama films about evil lurking behind the scenes at a job, it can still be highly effective. But it’s best when it gets menacing and even kind of weird. As part of Hulu’s “Huluween,” this week sees the release of The Mill. This one-location suspenseful horror centers around a job that wants to work you to your bone.

The Mill stars Lil Rel Howery in a role that makes him dig deep into his acting talents. Like an opening scene in one of the Saw films, he wakes up to a desolate, mundane, triangle-shaped outdoor room with a contraption in the middle of it that looks like it’s two hundred years old. In it, he must move the large stone wheel in circles and exceed his quota of laps for the day, all while an AI voice with a computer screen and countdown clock speaks to him throughout his sixteen-hour work day.

Howery plays Joe, a man who was on the rise in the company known as Mallard, the trillion-dollar company that now has him held captive in this prison. Through flashbacks in his mind during moments of reflection, we know that he has a wife at home with a son about to be born soon. Thus giving him motivation to work his butt off with moving the wheel to get out of there at some point for his family.

But like most massive companies like to do, the harder you work, the more tasks you get to prove how far you can go. Mallard raises his quota, making it harder and harder for him to achieve his work goals, thus driving Joe insane. And yet, Joe isn’t the only one in all of this.

Outside of the walls, he hears the voices of other workers in the same predicament as he is, but he never sees them. He speaks to one through a vent; a voiceover performance from Patrick Fischler. This is a supporting character that goes back and forth between aggressive and competitive with Joe and is also very empathetic towards Joe and his situation to get back to his family.

The Mill feels like a script that was collecting dust and got produced during the pandemic due to its minimal cast and minimal locations. Yet it does deal with post-pandemic opinions of work. The concept of working too hard and getting more work from a job for the same pay is addressed, and the idea of not enjoying one’s life because they’re always at their job is very prevalent.

There also seems to be commentary on men and how they handle work-life balance. Joe’s neighbor in the cell mentions that he never got to see his son grow up because he was always working, and now he’s been stuck here. He often wonders why he should even go meet his kid now since he probably hates him. Joe, of course, does not want that.

The frustrations that the organization known as Mallard seems to cause Joe while he is trapped are off-putting, but we’ve seen stuff like that in movies about evil overlords. The Mill is promoted as a horror film meant for streaming, and yet there really isn’t anything scary about it. No plot twist or any point in Joe’s psychological breakdown makes our palms sweaty. But the ride he goes on as he tries not to work himself into an early grave (even though it looks like he will) is worth watching.

Like most straight-to-streaming horror movies, The Mill is at least worth one watch, and it isn’t a disappointing view. But there is no real payoff in the end with how Joe gets out of prison. There’s nothing new here. The Mill wants to be something like the show Severance or even Netflix’s hit Platform from a few years ago. But with all those criticisms aside, the film is definitely relatable to all audiences because, deep down inside, we’ve always had a hunch about who we work for and if they’re out to get us.


Read More: The Mill Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 6.5/10

2 thoughts on “The Mill (2023) Movie Review – Hulu’s new workplace horror may entice you to quit your job”

  1. I wanted the movie to end already but when I got to the end, it made me think twice about the way I work. It was a great movie.. It made its point and I think everyone who works for someone should watch this..

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