Review: The Belko Experiment

“At the end of the day people are out for themselves.”

We all have bad days at work. The constant dread of Monday mornings. The lull of the same boring talk over coffee in the break room about how the weekend was. The slight lustful glances from two coworkers who are ‘just friends’. We all have a day where we really wish we hadn’t have gotten out of bed on said morning. Have you ever had a day where you thought to yourself, I could kill these people? What if you were being forced to do just that?

Welcome to The Belko Experiment in a nutshell. What starts out as a seemingly normal morning at the office ends up in chaos when a mysterious voice comes over the intercom system telling the employees of Belko Industries in Colombia. We meet the main cast of the film at the beginning before the work day starts. We have Mike (John Gallagher Jr.), Leandra (Adria Arjona), Barry (Tony Goldwyn), Wendell (John C. McGinley, and several other secondary cast members such as new girl Dany (Melonie Diaz) and Marty (Sean Gunn). When arriving at work, Mike notices there are new security guards working the gates, and they are sending all of the local staff away for the day. When asked why, they say just that there is a security concern for the day but nothing to worry about.

Shortly after the day starts, the voices come over and explain what must happen. Everyone gathers in the lobby of the building to discuss what is going on. Barry, the COO of the company, tells everyone not to worry that this is probably just some kind of drill, or at the least someone trying to play a harmless prank on them. Mike seems to think otherwise, but Barry assures him it’s nothing to worry about, he’s just overreacting. Soon, they realize that this is not a drill and that they are simply pawns in whatever game that they are being forced to play.

Now, you can imagine how the rest of the film transpires. I loved the idea of this movie from the moment I heard about it. You really don’t know what you would do in the situation until you think about it. You have the people who want to do the right thing, no one deserves to die. Then you have the people who are looking out for themselves. It’s an interesting dynamic. Put a group of people together who see each other forty plus hours a week and tell them they have to kill each other to survive. In the end, what do you do? Do your morals come to light or do you do whatever it takes to defend yourself? You have yourselves a human experiment.

Getting to see the different dynamics play out with each character was fun. Getting to see one of my favorite actors as a bad guy was very fulfilling for me. Even though he might not have made the right choices, I was cheering for him to make it to the end. Of course, you always want to pull for the good guys to win, and I’ll have to say I wasn’t expecting the character who makes it to the end to be the one that did. Well, I say that, I called it about three fourths of the way through, but from the beginning I didn’t think that this specific person was final guy/girl material.

There were some laughable moments in the film, as to be expected. There was an abundance of gore, which is always at the top of my list. There are office supplies I will never look at the same way again. James Gunn really did a great job with this movie. The actors he chose were fantastic. I’m a huge fan of Tony Goldwyn and James Gallagher Jr., they were both utilized to the best of their abilities here. Sean Gunn, always a fan favorite, was the perfect bit of comic relief.

Overall, I think this was a really fun movie. It had a pretty original idea, and a pretty cool concept (honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if the government didn’t really try something like this). The acting was great, the characters were compelling. It kept me intrigued the whole movie.

Oh, and every time I hear the intercom system at work, I panic a little bit on the inside. No worries though, I’m now thoroughly prepared.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Trailer: The Belko Experiment

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