‘The Belko Experiment’ Feels Familiar Yet Original At the Same Time

 

 
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Title: The Belko Experiment
 
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Direction
8.0


 
Acting
8.0


 
Plot
7.0


 
Execution
8.0


 
Total Score
7.8


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Posted August 18, 2017 by

 
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We have seen the movie where a group of people are forced to conspire against and kill one another in order for their own survival.  The movie that tops that list, for me, would be “Battle Royale” whereas the most popular of them would be “Hunger Games”. So while ‘The Belko Experiment’ is not treading on new ground, it does so in an interesting enough way that it’s a movie I highly recommend you check out.

Belko Industries is a government corporation located in Columbia where their employees have to go through a series of checks and security checkpoints just to get through the front door. When they show up the morning the film takes place, the checkpoints and even the security guards seem a little more excessive than they normally do and that’s because this day will be different than all the rest, and for many of the employees, it will be their last day.

Once everyone is inside and doing their business as normal, a mysterious voice comes over the P.A. system and lets them know they’re about to go through a social experiment that will require them to either kill each other or the powers that be will off people for them until their is no one left. Basically, play by our rules or we will exterminate you. It’s a lose lose situation for everyone involved so they might as well do what they’re told. The man behind the voice can see everything, no matter where the employees go, and having convinced all of them to get an implant that was supposed to save them from being held hostage, the voice also has the ability to exterminate them with the flip of the switch.

James Gunn’s script wastes no time introducing the cast of characters, letting you know who is good and bad, and then getting down to business. ‘The Belko Experiment’ is a bloodbath that will have little to no survivors. The question being posed is, “Is your life more important than everyone else’s?” The answer, in this case, is definitely yes. There are three stages to the ‘game’: Part 1: Kill any two employees in thirty minutes or lose more by disobeying. Part 2: kill 30 employees within in two hours, or lose 60. Last but not least, part 3: whoever has the most kills by the end of the experiment will be set free.

Sides are immediately formed: you have upper management pitting themselves against everyone else, and then you have those that are trying to find a way for everyone to survive. While some waste no time killing those around them in order for their own survival, there are those that refuse to do so. Those that refuse find their heads exploding and their brains splattered on the wall and floor. Might as well get to work.

While the film is full of mayhem and violence, it also raises the question, “How much control do we really have over our own lives?” The more we turn ourselves over to technology in order to make life simpler, the more we sacrifice our anonymity, privacy, and future. While the message is simple, it’s easy to lose sight of it as heads are being caved in with staplers and people are wielding hatchets that they’ll use on someone that used to be their cubicle partner. It’s a cat-and-mouse game where everyone has the option to be either or.

The cast of characters include the likes of the creepy (and apparently extremely violent) Wendell (John C. McGinley), Mike Milch and Leandra Florez (James Gallagher, Jr. and Adria Arjona) the couple that will try to save everyone involved, and Marty Espenscheid (Sean Gunn) — the stoner that thinks this is all some side effect to a hallucinogen found in the water they all drink and is convinced it’s only a part of his very active imagination. These four characters propel the story forward while everyone else battles with their inner demons or falls by the wayside for not giving into theirs.

With James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) writing the script, Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) directing the insanity, and a strong cast that really sells the whole adventure, you know you’re in for a good time from the beginning. I usually try to find something negative to point out about a movie because no film is flawless, but aside from the story being done before, ‘The Belko Experiment’ is an exciting, action-packed, bloody mess and I had a great time watching it.

It is currently available for rent and V.O.D.


DavidRyanM

 


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