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"The Belko Experiment" Movie Review

Updated on December 25, 2021
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Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.

The underdog cast of 2017 comes together to give us the bloody massacre film The Belko Experiment. I used to think James Gunn couldn't possibly write something outside of comedy or at least Guardians of the Galaxy level fun silliness. I was amazingly wrong. Yes, I recall Gunn wrote 2004's Dawn of the Dead but, come on, that's zombies. They're not scary, they're just hungry. Anyway, seeing The Belko Experiment made me respect Gunn a whole lot more than I did. He took a retold story, stripped it bare, and put his own visual twist to it. Oh, in case you are wondering, yes we did get some brilliant songs in there as well. The film is set in Colombia, South America, so we got Colombian renditions of I Will Survive and California Dreamin'. Both set the mood for the scenes they were in and proves how much of a genius Gunn can be when he puts his mind to something.

The film centers on the Bogota, Colombia branch of Belko Industries taking part in a worldwide experiment exclusive to all Belko company sites. Bogota's Belko "tags" their employees and uses the excuse that it's simply a tracking device in case an employee was to be kidnapped since that "happens all the time" there in Colombia. Turns out the tags are actually explosive devices. Belko has been planning this for a long time and today's the day. Steel panels cover the windows and the elevators are shut down. The doors are sealed and the only access to the outside is the roof which is at least 30 stories up. No one is going anywhere. A voice comes on the PA system stating that they are all apart of an experiment and that there would be 3 "games". In the first round, the employees must choose amongst themselves 3 of their own to kill. If they refuse, Belko will kill 6 at random. The second round raises the stakes, forcing the employees to choose 30 to kill. If they don't reach the goal then Belko will choose 60 at random to kill. The final stage is all out war, stating whoever kills the most (or whoever is still alive) of who is left will be allowed to live. It's a simple plot, yes, but what makes it scary is the thought of people you have come to know and be friends with being reduced to savages and turning on you in order to survive. It's soon clear that no one can be trusted or relied on and, well, it's probably best that you don't get attached to anyone.

In conclusion, yes the film is over-the-top and yes it is simple and yes it is all-out carnage but it's surprisingly well-made and the acting is spot-on. Director Greg McLean of Wolf Creek fame spins a tale of bloodlust and survival and, while there are no shocks, there are some wildly impressive gruesome effects and it's pretty darn fun. I give the film a 3 out of 4.

© 2017 Nathan Jasper


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