- on Thursday, 16 March 2017 06:33
- by Loron Hays
Ever complained about where you work? Ever wanted to kill a dumbass co-worker who makes your job even more difficult? Work sucks and it’s our right to bitch about it. At least, then, we don’t work for the sick company at the center of The Belko Experiment, who – proving just how fragile our society is – place their own building on lockdown and then, through a PA system, suggests that in order to survive the next 30 minutes, some killing of co-workers will need to be done.
Let the games begin. Could you do it?
Shocking, violent and every bit the twisted b-movie its writer James Gunn (of Slither and Guardians of the Galaxy notoriety) had in mind when writing it, The Belko Experiment offers both over-the-top horror AND biting satire. It just doesn’t commit to one or the other proving to be a sometimes-awkward combination of identities that might not always gel.
The good news is that the horror film – because it does serve two genre masters – is not afraid to get its fists bloody in its clever spinning of office fracases. Once married to The Office’s Jenna Fisher, it’s not too hard to see where this satirical take on the grotesque in office “life” took root for Gunn. Think The Hunger Games for the 9 to 5 worker and you’ll have an idea of where Gunn takes this bloody film.
We just don’t have an anti-hero in a wife-beater jumping from the top of the building to save the 80 employees from each other.
Okay, so the location of the film is not inside the fictional Nakatomi Plaza of Die Hard fame, but it is a place that is just as cold and deadly. While the office workers are similar in that there are harmless flirtations, water cooler conversations, coffee drinking, and after work celebrations being planned, the difference here is that they themselves must become the terrorists in order to not have their own heads lobbed off.
And this control (out of fear, mind you) is all due to a chip that was planted in their necks on one of the humdrum days of their stale office existence. Back then, they didn’t care about the lies being fed to them. Back then, they didn’t even know what it was they did for Belko Industries. We’re in security, right? Right??? Hell, back then; they didn’t even know there was an intercom system.
Set in Bogota, Colombia, the company these poor sould work for – on the day of the bizarre and unexpected intercom announcement – suddenly reveals its true purpose to the workers…with steel walls. Ah, to be so naïve. Well, director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) is about to drop some knowledge about meeting the demands of the working day, surviving the office, and just what it takes to successfully climb the corporate ladder. Got a case of the Mondays, yet?!
On the day the locals and their bosses were sent home early, all hell breaks loose for these workers. Three will die they are told if sacrifices aren’t made. No one does anything. This is, after all, a sick joke, right? You know bosses and deadlines, right? Of course, once heads explode all over the workroom – getting those nicely pressed crisp white button-up collared shirts stained with blood, bones, and brain matter – a grave seriousness falls over the employees.
Starring John Gallagher Jr., Adria Arjona, Michael Rooker, Tony Goldwyn, and John C. McGinley, it’s kill or be killed inside the halls, walls, and bathroom stalls of The Belko Experiment. Tribes are soon created, allegiances are sworn, and it’s Lord of the Flies by way of suit and tie. While the film needs to commit more fully to solidify its interpretation, there’s a lot that genre fans will dig.
With The Belko Experiment, office politics couldn’t get any deadlier.
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence throughout, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Runtime: 88 mins
Director: Greg McLean
Writer: James Gunn
Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona
Genre: Action | Horror
Tagline: Office Space Meets Battle Royale.
Memorable Movie Quote: "All employees, lend me your full attention."
Theatrical Distributor: BH Tilt
Official Site: https://www.facebook.com/TheBelkoExperiment/
Release Date: March 16, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: In a dark 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.
No details available.