‘The Belko Experiment’ is a mildly entertaining gore-fest

‘The Belko Experiment’ movie review

Reuben Wolf, Arts Editor

When death is on the line, only then will true humanity be revealed.  This story has been told countless time in literature and film.  The Belko Experiment is the latest to tell this story.

The movie takes place at one of the many Belko Industries offices around the world.  We see the typical office doldrum ecosystem develop only slightly until a voice over the office loudspeaker that introduces a game of murder and traps the inhabitants in the office.

What follows is a lot of gore, violence, and morality questioning.  As I have said before, this story has been told so many times, but that is not to say it is a bad story.  Many films have been able to effectively tell this story by having us care deeply about the characters.

The Belko Experiment doesn’t seem to care too much about its characters, even though it is a human-driven story.  Instead, we get gore.  Lots of gore.  Oh, and lots of violence, too.  However, each act of violence never comes off as over-the-top and unnecessary.

This is both advantageous and hurtful to the success of the film.  It is advantageous in that every time one character shoots, twists the neck of, or uses a meat cleaver on another character, it feels as if there was no other choice for the character.  Which is good, given the circumstances.   But, at the same time, it never feels that the movie goes all the way with what it is doing.

In a movie like The Belko Experiment, you are going to want over-the-top-ness of everything, not just violence.  Director Greg McLean (The Darkness) is no stranger to delivering mass amounts of blood.  But he plays this in a way that tries to preach a morality that has been told over and over again, which holds back what the movie could be versus what the movie was.

By the film’s end, you aren’t really expecting a life-altering twist.  What you get is what you expected, even if it isn’t your exact guess.

The Belko Experiment was written by James Gunn, who has made an art of irreverent self-awareness in his films.  This has me wondering if perhaps he knew what he was doing with this end, knowing that he would never be able to wrap up the story properly.  If so, I must admit that is a stroke of unexpected genius.  If not, then it is what it is.

That pretty much sums up The Belko Experiment.  I’d recommend it for those who love genre-horror (not the horror genre, there is a difference) and blood.  Other than that, here is a list of movies in theaters that are far more worth your money than The Belko Experiment:

  1. Get Out
  2. Logan
  3. Kong: Skull Island

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