Starring: John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona
Director: Greg McLean
Running Time: 88 mins
The Belko Experiment is an American film about an isolated office tower block in rural Colombia that becomes sealed off to the outside world, and the employees stuck inside are left to deal with a deadly game being played that instructs them to kill others in order to survive.
This is pretty much the perfect definition of a modern B-movie. Gory and preposterous throughout, it pulls out all the biggest B-movie tropes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film. Surprisingly, as stupid as it is, it’s crazy and violent enough for you to not take it quite so seriously, and that means there’s, ample opportunity to sit back, relax and watch the chaos unfold.
What I liked best about this movie was easily the premise. The survival genre is one of the most underrated in cinema, but The Belko Experiment proves once again that, no matter how silly the story may seem, it can make for a thoroughly entertaining watch.
Basically, with its kill or be killed story, the film is immediately comparable with the likes of Battle Royale, whilst its focus on normal employees being thrust into a bewildering and possibly life-threatening situation is also reminiscent of the excellent thriller Exam, so if you’re a fan of either of those, this will definitely be a lot of fun for you.
The one thing that I think is most important to recognise about this film is the fact that you should only be watching it to have an hour and a half of mindless, violent entertainment. Yes, the film does often delve in a little deeper and look at the events unfolding from a social perspective, attempting to bring some drama to the table by showing the rawest level of human nature.
The thing is, that’s totally apparent from the beginning, and so there’s no reason for the film to go further with some incredibly cheesy and blatant statements about human nature, when it could just be pushing ahead with more tension and violence.
The thing is, though, that this film is properly tense. With a collection of battling characters that make the events inside the building feel as genuine as possible, it’s very easy to get onto the edge of your seat throughout this movie, meaning there are levels of enjoyment beyond just mindless gore.
Overall, I had a pretty good time with The Belko Experiment. It’s not a cinematic masterpiece, and thinks it’s a little cleverer than it is, but on the whole, it’s a tense, violent and crazy enough movie to prove properly entertaining from start to finish, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5.