The Belko Experiment, 2016
Signed up the 30/03/2017
This is one of those movies with an amazing trailer that does not live up to the hype. My expectations weren't very high, but there's still a standard to uphold when making a predictable gory thriller. When making a movie that has the full intention of being messy there are two important key factors: 1. The chaos has to make you wonder how this movie is going to end, 2. I better not see the twist coming from a mile away. Its easy to get the first part right, tying up everything in a profound and unexpected manner is when things get tricky.
The Belko Experiment is basically what happens when Saw and The Purge have sex and give birth to a stillborn. It starts off as expected, a normal day in a corporate environment, employees coming in for work in a building situated in the outskirts of Mexico. They all have micro chips inserted into the back of their necks as a tracking device in case they get kidnapped. It is briefly explained that they work in a high kidnapping zone, cool I'll take it.
Long story short when all the employees are in the building it goes into a total shutdown trapping all of them inside with no sign of possible escape. An intercom notifies the employees that they have a set time to kill 30 employees. If this objective isn't met, the people orchestrating the experiment will kill 60 people by detonating the tracking devices which also happen to be micro explosives. This sends the employees into a polarized downward spiral of fear and doing whatever it takes to survive. I feel like they could've been more creative with how the employees turned on each other but a huge majority of the company was just too afraid to go savage. The boss of the company played by Tony Goldwyn who conveniently happens to be ex-military goes from friendly boss to crazy tyrant with a small group of employees who are desperate to get out of this twisted situation. This causes them to go on a killing spree with no one aggressively opposing them which was rather disappointing. The protagonist played by John Gallagher Jr. was a bore through out the movie and anti-climatic at the end. He spent most of the movie in fear and disbelief and went savage when it was a little too late.
I feel like the movie could've done a better job at playing with the idea of what to do and who to trust and how quickly people can turn in situations like this. They did it with a few characters but it just wasn't enough considering the fact that we were dealing with a whole building of employees. The building had so many elements they could've played with but it was kept in a handful of different settings that really didn't contribute much to the chaotic scenario the employees were put in.
The Belko Experiment was a wasted opportunity at creating a potentially interesting film with a splash of uncomfortable violence. Easily one of Blumhouses worst films.
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