THE BELKO EXPERIMENT 
Director: Greg McClean
Screenwriters: James Gunn
Starring: John Gallagher Jr, Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn
The Belko Experiment can pretty much be summed up in one sentence, Battle Royale meets Office Space. We open at a remote office building in Columbia, run by the Belko corporation this is a place that houses American companies abroad. However on this day things seem a little off, the local staff are being turned away and the building completely locks down. With no way out a voice appears on the radio, kill 30 of your co-workers or they’ll kill 30 more people themselves…
As horror movies go, The Belko Experiment isn’t bad by any means. It does what it needs to to entertain you and taking inspiration from two classics means that there’s definetly an audience for this sort of concept. However that’s all it really feels like at times, a concept.
I think one problem could be that James Gunn, one of the most prolific filmmakers around at the moment, only wrote this movie. He’s tried and tested as a brilliant filmmaker with classics such as Slither, Super as well as the two Guardians movies but when he doesn’t direct we’re left with the first two Scooby Doo movies as well as the 2005 Dawn of the Dead remake. Okay, while probably not the best comparison as that remake was pretty good and the Scooby Doo movies were some of my favorite as a kid but with Gunn they could’ve all been so much better.
The characters in the movie are all acted alright. They make you feel the emotions you should and clearly define who’s good and who’s bad, so you feel for their loses and love it when they get their comeuppance. I would say two things in particular though stand out to me, one is Sean Gunn who plays a stoner cafeteria member who runs around ruining supplies as he thinks there are narcotics in the water making them kill each other, this leads to some damn entertaining moments and he’s great in the movie but the other thing is what I didn’t like.
Very early on John Gallagher Jr is laid out to be the hero of the movie who wants to try and save as many lives as possible but comes across three of the others trying to break into the armory in an attempt to save themselves by killing everyone else. Any rational person would kill them, he was armed at the time and they were not, but instead he hinders and provokes them further which to me just seemed like a really dumb move and made it feel like the whole rest of the movie only happened because of that moment.
Overall, The Belko Experiment is enjoyable but I wouldn’t rush to go and see it. The actors do their job well and the kills are as brutal and inventive as you’d expect given the premise. It does set itself up well for a sequel so it’d be interesting to see where it goes from here but for now…
The Belko Experiment gets a (good) 5/10
If you liked this then you’ll love…
Battle Royale and/or Office Space: Two great movies from two different genres if you want something different but very similar to Belko Experiment not matter what your taste.