John Krasinski, most famous for being Emily Blunt’s husband, made a horror movie. Releasing last weekend to rave reviews and a number one spot at the box office, Jim from The Office has arrived as a talent to be watched. Writing, directing, and starring in the film, he engrains a deeper emotional story about a family dealing with grief into a high-concept thrill ride. Outside of his flowering ability as a filmmaker, he performs well as the survivalist father leading a family in a world with no sound. His face conveys the struggle he has keeping his loved ones safe while trying to traverse the tribulations of raising increasingly independent children. But, Krasinski’s facial expressions are nothing new.
He’s come a long way from the patented “Jim Halpert face“, a smitten camera-staring half-smirk known to every former NBC Thursday night watcher and Netflix user. And that growth is not just in acting chops, as the man has moved into full-grown lumberjack territory. No longer is he the cute, lovable paper salesman but rather someone people on Twitter probably call “Daddy”. Krasinski reinvented himself awhile ago, but now that he’s got a mainstream hit on his hands, the general population will be more presently familiar with him as a muscular leading man than the string bean sitcom character.
While I’m happy to see him grow and his talent to shine, I’m not quite ready to put his Jim days behind him. So, with respect given to his new movie setting, let’s see how Jim Halpert would fare in some notable horror movie scenarios we’ve seen on the big screen.
This is…THE HALPERT HORROR FUNHOUSE.
*Note: For some of these situations I bend the rules and assume Jim is still somewhat in the realm of The Office and that Dwight is a real person. Spoilers also appear periodically, though none are for A Quiet Place.
A Quiet Place
What better way to start than with Krasinski’s own intriguing setup. In A Quiet Place, the world is overrun with some alien species that is blind, but possesses infallible hearing. Have a cold and cough up a lung? You’re dead. A simple sneeze might even be enough to get these monsters on you faster than a teenager’s parents when little Johnny sneaks in late at night.
Imagining Jim Halpert in this case is easier, since you just transform Buff Krasinski into Slim Goofy Krasinski. The thing here is that while Halpert can be a loving family man, he also frequently only thinks of himself. I mean, when this crazy alien outbreak happens would he not just up and move to Philadelphia to start his own super-hearing alien marketing company? Who knows.
Regardless, his survival is the question here. Would Jim be able to keep himself from not pranking those around him? Unlikely. There has never been a situation where he hasn’t tried making a joke of some kind. Granted, Dwight probably wouldn’t be around so the pranking pressure would be alleviated a bit. Then again, Dwight might be there considering it feels like the family lives on Schrute Farms in the film. Either way, Jim is making a joke or pulling off a prank at some point that causes someone else to laugh or, more likely, get angry. Both result in sound. Both result in death.
Jim Halpert Film Survival Time: 7 Minutes 28 Seconds
After one unsuccessful bout with an alien species, Jim moves onto one of the toughest aliens yet. The xenomorph doesn’t possess any god-like capabilities (despite Ridley Scott’s attempts to make it a superhero in Covenant) but it is deceptively fast, incredibly strong, and undeniably sneaky. Jim feels ripe for the picking, not seemingly possessing the teamwork (isn’t the crew just a replacement for his coworkers from the actual Office?) or inner willpower to beat it out. That said, I think the man survives a bit longer this round. Jim wouldn’t be one to venture out on his own around the ship, and would probably be the one letting someone else go ahead of him in the case of a duo searching the dark caverns. Once it got down to the nitty gritty and we have but a few of our crew members left, he can’t hide behind anyone else. Jim survives long, but doesn’t rewrite horror movie history and outlast Ripley.
Jim Halpert Film Survival Time: 73 Minutes 49 Seconds
The aliens just keep coming. I like to imagine Jim would slot into the Rick Hawkins/Shane Black role here, and as we know, he dies pretty quick. Jim might be able to last a little longer (he wouldn’t be running after a woman in the jungle; barely willing to do it from Scranton to New York) but he is not one cut out for the commando life. This one really isn’t even any fault of his own, this situation can only be survived by Arnold and Arnold only.
Jim Halpert Film Survival Time: 14 Minutes 3 Seconds
Finally, something from this planet. Unfortunately, this one is easy pickings for our villain/monster/demon. I mean, you can’t tell me Jim wouldn’t receive the VHS tape, be told about how it kills people seven days after watching, and not assume it was Dwight trying his hand at getting him back for all the pranking and torment. Jim would naturally indulge Dwight, watch the tape, and endure all the creepy happenings for the next seven days and then meet his demise. Fans of Jim would like to think he’d realize it isn’t an elaborate prank and instead do what Naomi Watts does and figure out the mystery, but he wouldn’t. He would give Dwight a call, play along, Dwight would be confused and Jim would assume he’s playing dumb. Jim is toast. Dwight would star in Rings and survive.
Jim Halpert Film Survival Time: 91 Minute 2 Seconds (all but the final minute of the film, which sets up Dwight as the star for the sequel)
At this point, you’re probably reading angrily with the thought that I don’t really like Jim that much. You’d be wrong! I love him. Sure, one can say he’s kind of mean-spirited in some of his pranks but you’d just be one of those annoying people who hates fun and tweets shit like this. But he’s great, providing one of the best onscreen romances of all-time and some of the funniest sitcom moments in the 21st century. It’s just that when you’re a prankster and seemingly practical about situations, you can easily fall into the trap of assuming spooky things happening aren’t real.
Luckily, the Paranormal Activity movies would be ones that are somewhat easy to escape. I don’t think Jim is staying around when all the scary shit escalates. He’s a realist, but only to a certain point. He’s not so much a competitor that he’s going to try and outlast a damn demon haunting his home. Granted, to successfully avoid any continuing demon stuff, he would need to leave the woman he is with. Thankfully in this situation Pam isn’t his significant other. If we’re inserting him into the first PA, he’s getting out fairly fast. The couple in that didn’t have that much chemistry as is, and a smarter man would leave the clearly possessed woman who obviously isn’t The One. If it’s Pam, it’s another story. Since it isn’t, he’s gone at the highest point of escalation prior to death, where acting as if it is a prank can no longer be a viable thought process.
Jim Halpert Film Survival Time: 86 Minutes 27 Seconds OR Forever in the Movie World
Yet another situation where he would easily assume it’s some sort of sick (but reasonable given the amount of torment he’s given) prank by Dwight. Except this time he wouldn’t have seven days. He’d have minutes. Jim is gone pretty immediately in almost all of the Saw movies.
Jim Halpert Film Survival Time: 3 Minutes
Cabin in the Woods
This is one of the best cases for Jim. We have to place him reasonably in these situations, and where else would Mr. Halpert fall than into one of the roles portrayed by Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. Running this horror sacrifice experiment is right up Jim’s alley if he were much more sinister. As the scientists (?) behind it, you are essentially dreaming up and controlling every detail of a very evil prank. Sure, it’s a disturbing sacrificial offering, but in its most basic form it’s a prank that ends in death. Jim is the master prankster, slotting in seamlessly here, and I’d even wager he wouldn’t let the stoner and virgin ruin the day like Jenkins and Whitford do in the actual movie.
Jim Halpert Film Survival Time: 94 Minutes 37 Seconds OR Forever in the Movie World