Plot: Bogota, Colombia is home to Belko, a corporation that takes security seriously and has countless policies to prove it. As the area is home to frequent kidnappings, the workers are implanted with a tracer chip, which tracks their location and ensures the authorities can pin down their location. The job has a lot of rules, but comes with a host of perks, such as good money and apartments, cars, and more provided by Belko, so it is an attractive prospect. One day at Belko, the workers notice that only the Americans are in the office and some new, not so friendly security guards have been brought in to work the outside of the building. This raises some concern, but the employees just go about their days as usual. But then a voice comes over the entire building, telling them that out of the 80 people inside, two need to be killed in the next half hour. If this doesn’t happen, bad things will happen to far more than two of them. This creates a little panic, but most think someone is playing around, until all of the security lockdowns kick in, trapping them inside…
Entertainment Value: I love social experiments, so the premise of this one appealed to me, despite the obvious similarities to Battle Royale. The story here finds 80 Americans trapped inside a corporate office complex, ordered to follow some sadistic demands or suffer even worse consequences. I know we’ve seen this kind of concept before, but the change of setting does work wonders for this movie, as the office allows for such a diverse group with all kinds of motivations and reactions. All of the smaller arcs that branch out are fun to watch play out, though I do wish the movie didn’t force feed us a “good guy” routine. This is the film’s biggest detraction to me, as it shoehorns the hero in and it doesn’t make much sense. I would have rather watched a more organic narrative, not a “this is the good guy, deal with it” approach. Even so, the movie is a lot of fun to watch and raises the usual social questions, but again, the latter has been covered by other movies and countless real life social experiments. Despite being so similar and pushing too hard on the “good guy” front, I think The Belko Experiment works and provides some interesting moments, for sure. If you’re a fan of horror movies, social experiments, or Battle Royale style flicks, you should have fun here.
No nakedness. The blood flows in this one, with a number of graphic, fun to watch deaths. There is some jank CGI at times that dampens the fun, but also some terrific practical effects. Most of the blood comes from the tracking devices blowing up people’s heads, but seeing heads explode is never tiresome. We also see some folks poking around inside the tattered skull remains, for a little more gore presence. The highlight is likely the ax to the face murder or the ridiculous final office kill, which is silly, but still makes a cool visual. Then we have gunshots, a guy cut in half by an elevator, stabbings, neck breaking, you name it. Not all of these are graphic, most aren’t in fact, but there’s still a good amount of blood in this one. The dialogue is fun at times, watching these various personalities cope with the situation, but the writing doesn’t give us many home run lines or memorable exchanges. I did like the guy who was convinced it was all due to some tainted water, however. While the premise is wild, it isn’t all that original and the movie’s insistence on shoving a “good guy” down our throats more than balance things back toward the normal side. Even so, an office of drones hunting each other down is still pretty wacky, I think.
Overall Insanity: 2/10