by Sherry Lipp
The Lowdown: The Belko Experiment is a gore-fest that seems to think it’s saying something, but just comes up empty.
I spent most of The Belko Experiment pondering why this movie had been made, mostly as a distraction from actually having to watch it. I’m not exaggerating to say that this movie is one of my least favorite ever. The problem isn’t the excessive blood and gore, it’s that The Belko Experiment holds no interest once the premise is established. Once the film establishes that there is only one way the story could go, there is nothing left to do but wait for it to end.
Strange things are already afoot as soon as the opening credits role, which gives us no chance to get to know these characters in their normal work day. As the film opens we see a bunch of employees going through a checkpoint as they make their way into the parking lot of the Belko office building. The checkpoint itself is apparently standard, but the employees soon start to notice the guards aren’t the same ones they’re used to. Nonetheless they all proceed to work as usual. We really shouldn’t question this decision considering we soon find out they’ve all also agreed to have a tracking device implanted in the back of their skulls.
What?! Who in their right mind would agree to this? We get some brief exposition for the reasoning as we catch up with Dany (Melonie Diaz) who is reporting for her first day of work. The office building is located in a remote area in Bogota, Colombia where kidnappings are a regular thing and the tracking device will locate them right away, should that happen. I don’t know what these job pay, but uh… no thanks? Even with the company car, credit card, and free apartment, none of this seems worth it. However, this office is filled with 80 people doing what seems to be fairly mundane work.
After an extremely brief introduction to some key players, a mysterious voice comes over the PA system and the mayhem begins. In a nutshell the employees have to start killing each other or risk being killed by their unseen captors. The building has been locked tight, with metal sheets covering the windows and doors, and there is no escape. They either do what the voice says or risk even worse consequences.
But who cares? I’m not sure if there was supposed to be some kind of social satire here, but it fails to come through. At one point (before the violence starts) someone wonders if they really do any real work at Belko. I’m sure a lot of people who’ve worked in a little cubicle for hours on end have wondered the same thing. Little cogs in big wheels sometimes never see the fruits of their labors, but I certainly hope not many people have fantasized about killing their co-workers in horrific ways. The Belko Experiment is sadistic and unpleasant without ever making any real point.
The Belko Experiment images: BH Tilt