Blood! Guts! Gore! Mass murder!
BQB here with a review of the totally twisted psychological thriller/horror flick, “The Belko Experiment.”
In Bogota, Columbia, 80 Americans work in a high rise tower owned by the international corporation, “Belko Industries.” High security cuts the building off from the outside as the employees conduct their business in South America.
One day, completely at random, a scary voice comes over the loudspeakers. The employees are told they are expected to kill a certain number of their fellow co-workers by a certain time. Should they fail, even more employees will be killed. Even worse, actions are taken to assure the employees that this demand is real and not a joke.
As you might expect, chaos reigns supreme as a group of once mild mannered office workers go batshit crazy. Factions are raised. Sides are taken. Lines are drawn and crossed.
Employee Mike Milch (John Gallagher Jr.) takes the noble position that murder is not acceptable under any circumstances, that everyone should just remain calm, refuse to kill anyone, and it will all pass. He and his followers focus on survival and escape.
Meanwhile, company boss Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn) takes the utilitarian approach, i.e., it would be better to kill the number of people demanded rather than allow even more people to get killed. To that end, he creates his own murder squad with his sidekick, the uber creepy Wendell Dukes (John McGinley in his douchiest role yet and that’s saying a lot for a man who has made a career of playing douches.)
Overall, the movie is more than a bit sick and twisted. There’s gore aplenty and the body counts really rack up, with mass executions being put on full display in which employees are rounded up, herded like cattle and summarily murdered. It’s definitely one of the scarier, more gruesome horror flicks I’ve seen in a long time.
There’s definitely a disturbing theme throughout. I mean, how well do you think you know your co-workers? Sure, that guy who plugs along at work all day and gives you a warm smile when you pass him in the hallway seems nice enough, but do you really have any way of knowing that he wouldn’t hack you to pieces if it ever came down to you or him?
What is a life worth? Are older people worth less than the young? Are parents worth more than those without children? All these questions are asked and more as Norris attempts to come up with the most efficient formula for committing utilitarian murder.
Who is right? Is Milch right that there is never a circumstance where murder is justified? Is Norris right that it’s better to kill some in order to save many?
Just how much chaos needs to be introduced into a normally sane environment before everyone goes nuts, picks up whatever implements of destruction they can find and start chasing each other down?
Overall, the film is tight. It moves fast. There are many parts that are downright gross and disturbing to say the least. While we hope that a “Belko Experiment” is never conducted, I have a hunch that this film has, more or less, accurately predicted how a building full of office workers would react if somehow their usually comfortable work environment were to descend into a “Lord of the Flies on Acid” situation.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Rent it now on demand.