“Imagine a large building filled with (mostly) regular people who are forced to take part in a game of ‘Kill, or Be Killed’.”
It’s easy to imagine THE BELKO EXPERIMENT as the ultimate ‘pitch movie’ — and, quite honestly, the concept is perfect for a dark humored and satirical look into the world of office politics. Unfortunately, BELKO is a straight-forward horror movie that fails to take advantage of any and every opportunity.
James Gunn’s (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) script and Greg McLean’s (WOLF CREEK, THE DARKNESS) direction are clearly not on the same page; and it is rather impressive that anything manages to work here. After 80 Americans are trapped in a secluded corporate high-rise located in Bogota, Colombia, an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system explains the rules of an extremely deadly game. That set-up is ripe for material, but, here, we only see brief glimpses of a far superior movie.
The cast is made up of actors you will probably recognize from better roles (John Gallagher, Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Michael Rooker), and that alone is why BELKO is any fun. The violence isn’t always handled well, and the laughs are scarce, but tension is built because you are watching familiar faces suffer through a world of hell.
For an 88-minute movie, THE BELKO EXPERIMENT feels a little long — mostly because of a subplot involving one character that, ultimately, turns out to be a red herring. When that character was dispensed rather easily, a nearby audience member yelled out “Well, that was pointless!”
And that’s the most accurate review you’ll read.
Two (and a Half) out of Five Beers.