The lesson to learn after watching this never works for a company that involves potentially killing your fellow employees in the office. If you’re tired of your co-worker or anybody else in your building you’re just sick of? Have no further. Director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) teams up with writer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) to come up with a fantasy to make that happen with The Belko Experiment. But if I were to choose an object to defend myself, it would be scissors or a stapler.
In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogota, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
From hearing about whose involved and the fact that Gunn wrote the screenplay, it sounded like a pretty cool idea. It’s basically Office Space, Battle Royale, The Purge, and Saw all crosses paths with each other and turn into a crazy thriller. From the trailer, this could be an enjoyable movie to talk to everyone about. Also, it’s a surprise to see the Orion Pictures logo at the very beginning. So was The Belko Experiment great? Not quite. It provides some good elements spread out, but it was alright although it should’ve been better.
For the first two acts of the film, it was interesting, in my opinion. They hit you with the setup very quickly just to get to anything suspenseful. It hinges on everyone’s thought about whether to kill somebody in order to get their freedom, or just handle everything in a calmly matter till it blows over. If there’s nowhere to go, what’s plan B? That’s a great mindset into this social study that’s proven to be intelligence in some ways to mortal tensions. Can you be forced to put an act of violence against somebody?
The characters have little development to carry on, but there were some that you hope will survive all this. Not much build up to any of them at all. Some of the performances were well done. John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane) was excellent in this as he’s one of the characters that I want to survive in the end. He should really be in more work because he’s a very underrated talent. Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) as Belko’s COO was fine though his character progression was as expected. John C. McGinley (Scrubs) was also good even though he plays a pervert. You also got Gunn’s players like Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn as the stoner.
But it wasn’t as fascinating for how it turned out later on. This didn’t have the tone that was needed as I was expecting this to be a dark comedy, which what it should’ve been. It just took itself too seriously with this dilemma, and while there are some laughs to be found, it wasn’t funny to me. When the third act starts and everything hits the fan, it gets ridiculous and over-the-top so quick along with most of the other performances. Usually, it’s predictable where everything will be headed, but it’s grounded with bloody violence, while expected, just showcases that to no end. There are also moments where some questions aren’t answered in the end.
Gunn’s script had the potential to be really creative with this idea but it wasn’t that stylish to honestly care for it later on as it could feel like an old school horror. He definitely knows horror because he wrote Dawn of the Dead and Slither. Running at 88 minutes, this was fast-paced as it leaves you just guessing what going to happen in the end.
And this actually leaves open for a sequel in the easiest way possible. I might be up for a sequel but hopefully, it’s better. This one of those movies that I won’t mind watching again as it’s so dumb, it’s a fun B- movie overall or just a guilty pleasure if anybody’s into these kinds of horror films.
Even though The Belko Experiment brought an intriguing premise to the table, it hinges on sadistic violence that amounts to nothing.