The Belko Experiment: Kill or Be Killed – **1/2 OUT OF 4
Directed by Greg Mclean (whose 2006 feature “Wolf Creek” retained a similar morbid fascination) with a script brought to the screen by super- star scribe James Gunn (“Guardians of the Galaxy”)from a dream he had one night. Although flawed for bullying its audience, Belko is a unique, but one note, addition to a growing genre subset labeled “office horror”. In this age of rampant terrorism the petty boss who pushes his employees to commit heinous crimes is about as welcome as an out-of-control SUV mowing down innocent people walking in a crowd.
In office horror the corporate ladder is oozing with blood and the bodies pile up alongside the copier machine, At the recently concluded South by Southwest Festival the carnage is attributable to a nasty virus in the dark office thriller, coming later this year, known as “Mayhem” directed by Joe Lynch. Other companies releasing films in the red office genre include titles such as “Bloodsucking Bastards”, “Office Killer”and iconic director Joe Dante’s latest “Gremlins 2: The New Batch”.
By labeling “Belko” an experiment provides it a gravitas to its procedural. Belko Industries is a Bogota, Colombia, non-profit that has American employees. A voice on the intercom announces each employee must kill a certain number of their co-workers or be murdered themselves. Steel doors insure that no one slips out and sets up this “Hunger Games” type plot. There are requisite character types to entertain us between killings including a tough-ass boss, a slacker and a young couple all opposite one another waiting for a “killing” opportunity.
Belko has its moments such as when an unlucky employee gets assaulted with a tape dispenser. It will fulfill your craving for visceral violence rendered without human regards. Keep your expectations low and you will not be disappointed.