Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Consultant.
Although marketed as a comedy thriller, The Consultant has a horror twist that proves to be its best narrative trick to keep viewers hooked throughout its runtime. In its opening scenes, where the CEO of a gaming company called CompWare gets murdered, The Consultant comes off as a typical mystery workplace drama. However, it gradually unveils its horror undertones when its titular consultant, Regus Patoff, shows up to save the company from its fall from grace.
In The Consultant‘s first few episodes, Regus Patoff (played by Christoph Waltz of Django Unchained’s fame) seems peculiar because of his ambiguous position in CompWare’s corporate hierarchy. He presents himself as a mercenary with no skin in the gaming world, and even makes shallow promises and ridiculous claims about reviving the company’s business. While he never stops embodying the satirical stigmas surrounding the reputation of consultants in the business world, some major revelations about his past and motives make his characterization and overarching storyline in The Consultant show spookier than they initially seemed, drifting the show’s narrative into the horror realm.
The Consultant Show Is A Secret Horror Series
Although Regus Patoff proves to be a ruthless boss to CompWare’s employees from the get-go, there is initially nothing unusual about his behavior in Amazon Prime Video’s The Consultant. He shows no mercy towards his employees and treats those around him callously, but still seems imperfectly human. However, when Craig sets out to investigate Patoff’s ambiguous past, The Consultant takes a dark turn by portraying how Patoff is far more sinister and far less human than Craig and Elaine had initially anticipated.
Without giving away too much about Patoff’s identity, The Consultant gradually delves deeper into its horror elements by featuring a few illustrations from Dante’s Inferno and hinting that Patoff’s human facade is a mere assimilation of bones made out of gold. These revelations affirm that Christoph Waltz’s villainous character is a literal manager from hell and a devil in a consultant’s disguise, resulting in the Amazon show leaning into the horror genre. The fact that most CompWare employees, including Craig and Elaine, easily fall prey to the consultant’s manipulative schemes and morally skewed capitalist ventures no matter how aware they are of his immoral nature makes him even scarier.
Why The Consultant Needed Its Horror Ties
While the purpose of satire is to criticize and highlight the hypocrisies of a real-world world system, the foundation of horror rests on bringing new life to people’s worst fears. Merging the two narrative devices, The Consultant spins a grim fantastical yarn to hidden forms of structural injustice, management discrepancies, and complex human dynamics in the corporate world. By doing so, the Amazon show offers audiences an imaginary space to experience and process real life problems without facing them in the real world. Without its horror ties, The Consultant would lack the therapeutic satisfaction that comes with facing and dealing with metaphorical real-world demons like Regus Patoff.
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