Last night, I watched The Belko Experiment, a film written by James Gunn, the same guy who gave us Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither, and the screenplay for the 2004 Dawn of the Dead. Mr. Gunn is quite talented, and he’s already proven that he can write horror, so I was excited to check out this movie. The trailer promised a violent, gory ride into the world of office politics. It did not disappoint on that front.
Is it of the same caliber as Guardians? Absolutely not, but it was pretty entertaining, although frustrating at times. As with many horror movies, it’s very easy to settle into the “I can’t believe they’re doing that. If I was them, I would…” way of thinking. It’s best to just sit back, turn off your brain, and enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, my brain’s ‘OFF’ button wasn’t working.
WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS
Belko has been described as a mix of Battle Royale and Office Space, and I think that’s a fair assessment. Belko is funny at times and shows the monotonous side of the workplace environment before settling into murderous mayhem.
What starts off as an almost normal morning for the employees of Belko Industries quickly devolves into the most terrifying office meeting anyone’s ever been a part of. Ever have a group project at work go south? Kinda like that but with more blood and exploding heads.
A voice from the building’s intercom interrupts the peaceful day by telling everyone that two people have to be killed within the next 30 minutes. Of course, everyone thinks it’s a prank, but then the building’s defenses kick in. Metal plates slide over the windows and doors, and before you can say “dead end job,” they’re trapped. Everyone groups together in the downstairs lobby, and after 30 minutes pass, a few employees get some strong headaches. Like so strong their heads explode.
Not surprisingly, everyone panics, and one of the characters figures out that the tracking chips implanted in the employees when they each took their jobs are to blame for the violent migraines. Tracking chips, you ask? Well, Belko is located in Bogota, Colombia, and the employees were told the chips were implanted to locate them in case of a kidnapping. Just a normal day in Colombia, I guess.
Now that everyone knows Mr. Intercom was serious, he gives them another task. This time 30 people have to die within the next 2 hours or 60 will be killed. This is where things turn into a free-for-all between those who still believe in the sanctity of human life and those who just say “Screw it. Let’s get to killin.'”
I don’t want to give everything away here, but let’s just say lots of people die. Very violently. I was extremely impressed by the special effects in this film. They gave us not one but two head smashing scenes and so many head explosions that I lost count. I’m a gore fan, so I was not disappointed there.
The one thing that did bother me is the main character. Now, I don’t really know how I would react in that situation – and it goes without saying that I hope I never do – but the main character just really got on my nerves at times. Good ol’ Mike Milch, played by John Gallagher Jr., is appalled at the idea of killing his friends and co-workers like any normal person would be, but he takes it to a level that I just found annoying. This is where I wished my brain could have turned off, but it just wasn’t happening. I found myself not really rooting for anyone to live or die and just sat back to enjoy the violence of it all.
Okay, I take that back. I did root for John C. McGinley’s character to die. He did a really good job playing a creep in this movie, so yeah – he needed to go. There was also another annoying character or two that I wasn’t sad to see kick it. I guess I just didn’t really root for anyone in particular to live.
So should you go see The Belko Experiment? It definitely placed third out of the three movies I’ve seen in the past few weeks, which includes Logan (So awesome!) and the highly-praised Get Out, but I think it was absolutely worth the price of the ticket. Like I said earlier, I enjoy gore and violence in movies, so if that’s not your thing, this movie isn’t for you. But if you’ve dreamed of killing any of your co-workers, this movie might be a cathartic experience. Enjoy it, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
And just as a side note: If you haven’t seen Get Out yet, what the hell is wrong with you?! Go! Go now!