Here is the scariest horror film of 1997. It revolves around the polluted hearts of two white-collar executives. Chad (Aaron Eckhart), an angry young man, and Howard (Matt Malloy), his mild-mannered friend, are working on a six-week project at a branch office in another city. Since both of them have been rejected by women, Chad convinces his buddy to join him in a vicious scheme whereby they will date and then dump an unsuspecting woman. He chooses Christine (Stacy Edwards), a lonely typist who is hearing impaired. The idea is to inflict on her the pain they have felt. The misogyny of Chad and Howard becomes a brutal weapon.

Written and directed by Neil Labate, this searing film reveals the dark side of corporate culture where gamesmanship, deceit, power trips, and ruthless competition turn individuals into soulless zombies. Chad's paranoia and vulnerability at work lead him to manipulate and humiliate underlings. He even betrays Howard because he wields more authority than he does on their project.

The most telling point of In the Company of Men is that the same attitudes, habits, and amorality that come to the fore on a job are bound to show up in relationships. Very few American movies ever cover these aspects of the work-a-day world. This one does so with convincing clarity and clout.