The Belko Experiment

(2017)

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Title:
The Belko Experiment
Release Date:
17th March 2017
Runtime:
88 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Greg McLean
Writers:
James Gunn
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, 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.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 47%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 48%
IMDb Rating 6.6

Casts

Adria Arjona as Leandra
John C. McGinley as Wendell Dukes
John Gallagher Jr. as Mike 'Michael' Milch
Melonie Diaz as Dany Wilkins
Tony Goldwyn as Barry Norris

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by trublu215 17th March, 2017

Far From Original but Definitely Worthy of a Watch

The Belko Experiment pits an entire office building against one another during, what seems to be, a government experiment that puts 75+ people in an office building and an announcer tells them to kill one another or hardcore ramifications will follow for not obeying the order. When you break it down, this is a film that just sounds stupid in the best way possible. It is fun, violent, gory and, at times, thoroughly enjoyable as a passable thriller. Anyone looking for the gold that James Gunn struck with Guardians of the Galaxy or even Slither will walk away disappointed. Those of you who enjoyed the director's work on Wolf Creek will probably be happy with this. For me, it's hard to give thoughts on a film like this because it is so obvious that the filmmakers didn't give a damn about impressing anyone. For that, I've got to give kudos to Gunn and McLean. They know their audience. This is far from a movie that will turn you into a fan of horror or thriller. This is the type of film that you just sit back, turn your brain off, and try to be entertained. There is not artistic value in this film. This is a balls to the wall thriller that works for anybody looking to waste 90 minutes or so. With that being said, there are still some frustrating moments in the film. The film plays out very black and white. We know who is who and where they stand in the experiment. So right away, we know who to care about and who not to. This was something that I didn't really care for with this film. I wanted to be surprised, I wanted to be wondering who was going to make what decision. Instead, it all ends up being very predictable. While what i just mentioned is extremely vague, it is hard to really go off about the film without giving major spoilers but those of you who have seen any of the Red Band trailers probably know what I'm talking about. Overall, The Belko Experiment is a gory thriller that is almost a lot of fun. It has every ingredient there for a tight, great little thriller. Unfortunately, director Greg McLean repeats what he did on Wolf Creek and let's us stew in gore instead of deep and layered characters. For a film like this, that is what anybody could expect. Personally, I would have liked to have seen something a little different than what was expected. Either way, this movie is a lot of fun and a good way to waste some time. Other than that, The Belko Experiment comes up a little short.

Reviewed by Fedoics 9th March, 2017

A bloody good time.

The Belko Experiment is a messed up film and it's wildly entertaining. The Belko Experiment is an indie film that's essentially about a office building that gets shut down and the people inside are forced to kill each other. Here's the good. The story in this movie keeps you on the edge of your seat practically the whole run time of the movie. It's a physiological horror film that really asks the audience, "What would you do in this situation?". I was lucky enough to be at a screening of the film with writer/producer James Gunn and the director Greg McLean and most of the cast. They talked a lot about how there was no villain in this movie, which is something I loved. The people in this movie were all acting for themselves, doing what they need to do for their family or for survival. The story in the beginning and the middle is very interesting and will keep the audience entertained well after the movie is over. The acting is this movie is, for the most part, believable and good. Tony Goldwyn, John Gallagher Jr., and Sean Gunn were the standouts of this movie. Tony was terrifying, and just as he talked about during the Q and A at the screening, his character wasn't a villain. His character was doing what he had to do to make sure he could come home to his family again, even if is terrible. John Gallagher Jr. does a fantastic job as the main character. He displays a wide variety of emotions perfectly and pulls off a really really good performance, surpassing his acting in 12 Cloverfield Lane. The real standout of this movie is Sean Gunn who did a fantastic job with his character. He has some of the best and most memorable lines in the whole film. It's amazing to see how far Sean Gunn has gone in his acting ability when compared to his role in James Gunn's Super. Everyone in the movie, including the extras, pulled off great performances. The technical parts of this movie are very well done. I have tons of respect for this movie's use of practical effects which added a lot of horror to the movie's tone. The cinematography in this movie was impressive, keeping a lot of shots close to give off a claustrophobic feeling. The lighting in this movie is used perfectly. Towards the latter half of the movie, many action sequences were lit uniquely. A action scene lit by a neon light and fire or a flickering light, whatever the case, it built the suspense. Here's the bad. The ending of this film is different. It didn't really set up the ending all that well and left the audience wanting something a bit more. It didn't ruin the fun of the movie but with a better ending it could have been a lot better. For a movie to me great it needs to have an ending that leaves the audience satisfied and this movie has trouble doing that. Overall, The Belko Experiment is a thrill ride. When the action and horror and suspense hits, it hits hard. The acting from everyone is entertaining and believable, many performances being especially good. The lighting and cinematography add a lot to the overall tone of the film which makes it a lot more effective. While the ending leaves you wanting more, you'll still be thinking about this movie for days to come.

Reviewed by raven-64-833785 5th October, 2016

Survival of the Fittest

It starts as a normal day for employees of an American company in Colombia. Suddenly blast walls are lowered in the small office tower, exits are closed and a malevolent voice over the public address system orders people to kill or be killed. A few have to die before it is believed that this voice means business. Soon it is hand to hand combat and survival of the fittest among maintenance, management, IT nerds and the rest of the workers. Weapons are in plentiful supply. So are theories as to how and why this is happening, what to do in response to the commands and whether people should band together or fight for themselves. This intense, violent, funny and unpredictable film is fueled by capable actors and an intriguing plot. It says a lot about human nature. People divide into two camps; the manipulators and those with empathy for others. Yet both types tend to die when the lights go out and the blast walls go down. The unexpected twists to the story are wonderful and plentiful. Characters that I assumed would live, instead die gruesome deaths. What detracted from the film is that there was little depth to the dialogue and the film was not shot where it was set (Colombia). World premiere seen at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

Reviewed by horrorinpureform 12th September, 2016

A movie that's been done 100 times, but passes the time adequately.

Eighty American workers in Bogota get locked inside their office building and an announcement over the intercom gives them half an hour to kill any two of the employees. When they don't comply, the rules are amped up, and an American Battle Royale (down to the 'collars') ensues. The Belko Experiment managed to accomplish the difficult feat of never being boring, not even for a minute. It takes almost no time getting going, and at any given moment it is either action packed, or taking a break from action and descending into dark humour. Both of these were well-executed, with one particularly memorable action piece (the end of round 2, so pretty), and a spattering of interesting side characters, a lot of them hilarious in either attitude or demeanor. With that, it managed to entertain throughout, making it worth seeing. However, where it fails is originality. The Battle Royale formula has been done time and time again, and here we get the straightest form of it, with zero deviation from the norm and zero unique perspective. Where a movie like Circle tries to infuse some kind of basic examinations of social themes, here there is no higher level to the killings. And for this, the movie never once surprises with a thought or an event. The characters are just shells of people; the bad guys are caricatures of evil, the protagonists of good. There is never ambiguity of character, in a movie where so much moral ambiguity should be present due to the situation. So from minute one you know exactly who will be a villain and who will be a hero, and the end game is obvious from the start. It's a waiting game for the movie to arrive where you know it is going, which makes it very unsatisfying once the action is over.

Reviewed by Coolestmovies 11th September, 2016

A near-ideal mix of gory kills and organic laughs

The concept of director Greg McLean and producer/writer James Gunn's THE BELKO EXPERIMENT won't seem overly original to those who've seen BATTLE ROYALE or really any movie in which people are forced to hunt or kill folks they know and like, but in Gunn's hands it's a whole lot more fun: office workers for a Bogota-based non-profit are trapped in their shiny office tower and told by a mysterious intercom voice that they've got to murder a certain number of their own before a pre-determined deadline or double that number will be killed via the company's "alternate method". To prove the seriousness of the situation, several employees' heads are suddenly ripped open by a mysterious force. After several attempts at teamwork to devise methods of contacting the outside world result in even more bodies as punishment, some of the (literally) more mercenary members of the management team decide that the voice sort of has a point, and set about liberating several handguns from a downstairs vault, not long after other sluggos have raided the cafeteria of its sharpest utensils. Not surprisingly, Gunn's script establishes a firm balance between action, horror and organic comedy -- bother Sean gets some of the biggest laughs as the corporation's resident stoner and conspiracy theorist, who leads his own little squadron of three for much of the film -- and he and McLean have assembled a such a strong, fan-friendly cast of familiar heavies (Michael Rooker! Tony Goldwyn! Gregg Henry! John C. McGinley!), lesser-knowns and newcomers to play this likable, believable group of office drones that they're able to smartly subvert expectations on a number of occasions. The body count is extremely high -- most of them on screen -- and the blood and gore is plentiful and extremely well-crafted, but it wisely isn't lingered on and there's no off-putting, drawn-out torture scenes to speak of. Mind you, a few of the most audience-pleasing kills are exceptionally squishy, so I could see this eventually hitting DVD and streaming in R and unrated versions. The TIFF audience saw the unrated version for sure last night, so plenty of cheers all around when some of the most devious players met their makers. This is a great "what would you do" kind of show, and I'd imagine a lot of genre fans will get a huge kick out of it.