If the 1980s were pre-dominated by the creatures that existed in other dimensions or planets, the vampires, demons or aliens, then the early nineties destroyed this trend by shifting the spotlight onto the vampires of the corporate world. Authors such as Tom Wolfe, Bret Easton Ellis and Michael Crichton all released seminal works on this subject while Oliver Stone released Wall Street to critical and commercial acclaim. The Temp, directed by cult horror icon Tom Holland, is a rather mundane entry into this genre, but some inventive deaths and gore make it an entertaining ninety minutes.
Timothy Hutton plays Peter Derns, an executive who has recently been treated for the paranoia that led to the breakdown of the relationship with his wife Sharon (Maura Tierney). After his assistant Lance leaves in a hurry he is quickly replaced by mysterious, alluring temporary assistant Kris Bolin (played by Twin Peaks actress Laura Flynn Boyle). As the figures above her begin to meet with mysterious accidents, allowing her to rapidly climb the corporate ladder, Peter begins to suspect that Kris may be hiding some homicidal tendencies. These suspicions may ultimately mean the difference between life and death for Peter as he becomes the target for her malicious attacks.
The Temp requires no input from official agencies in order for the plot to make sense, or it takes place in which these agencies have very little brains or criminal insight. There appears to be very little investigations into any of the accidents or deaths that occur in the cookie company that Peter works for, despite the fact that 4 of the top workers in the company meet with gruesome accidents. In fact the police do investigate a break-in at a house in one scene, only to laugh at the situation and refuse to investigate it. However the film does contain some nasty sequences, including death by bee-sting and the results of eating cookies that have been laced with broken glass, and never strives for anything above a generic thriller. It is not a great film, but it is never boring either.