After seeing the trailer for, “The Belko Experiment” I was definitely expecting some dark and/or gory moments. The movie portrays a government office in the middle of nowhere, where the workers get too-good-to-be-true benefits, and they all have a “tracking device” in their head. However, nothing could have prepared me for the gore I witnessed.
The film’s plot takes shape through a voice over the loudspeaker in their 80- person office building, telling the workers that if 30 of them aren’t dead within the next hour, 60 of them will be dead. The workers all laugh as if it’s a complete joke, until large, metal doors that are unbreakable come down over every window and door in the building, trapping the workers inside.
At first, everyone besides a few believe that this has to be an elaborate hack or prank. That is – until the killing starts. The first death happens on the roof. A couple of workers are on the roof chatting, when suddenly, one of their heads explodes in gory detail. When all of the workers are gathered around the lobby, another two workers heads explode as well.
Soon after, the workers realized that this was no joke – and many began turning on each other. Essentially, the creators of this movie suggested that it’s human nature that we will all act in our own best interest – but this movie goes too far. With senseless killings happening often, this movie was not one I was enjoying sitting through. The deaths were shown in very bloody detail and it was very uncomfortable. In my eyes, the movie relied far too much on shock value.
Another unfortunate downfall of this movie was the predictability. There were many moments where I found myself calling what happens before it actually happened, which isn’t a quality I enjoy. The biggest example I can recall was when one of the main characters, Mike Milch, was ‘killed’ in a staircase, but wait – he was revealed to be still alive not five minutes later. It was pretty obvious that this was going to happen.
I will say, I did enjoy the acting in this movie. John C. McGinley of “Scrubs” was excellent in his role as a creepy, crazy office guy. Mike Milch, played by John Gallagher Jr., did a fantastic job acting out a character that the audience could actually relate to. He wasn’t a bloodthirsty kill animal like other characters, and for the entirety of the movie he was trying to help people out as best he could.
The movie ends in an extremely edgy way, suggesting that this experiment went on all over the world. It also really played on the “government is out to get us” type narrative. It’s very confusing as well. Milch successfully kills all of the perpetrators that were in a hideout controlling the experiment, yet it still appears as if he will have to take part in another experiment? At best, it’s a cliffhanger to a second movie.
In the end, I was very disappointed in “The Belko Experiment”. It was a film that relied far too heavily on shock value and fear-mongering ideas, while not having enough uniqueness to overcome those negative values. On the movie poster, it’s advertised as “office space meets Battle Royale” – even though, at best, this movie is a watered down version of the latter.