Director: Greg McLean
The Belko Experiment doesn’t really add anything new to movies already make of similar ilk. Set in a United States government building in Bogotá, it’s game of last man standing as the building is closed down with its eighty US nationals trapped inside. After a number of employees are killed when explosive devices within their heads are detonated, panic sets in. Instructions are received from a mystery voice over the intercom that if thirty employees are not killed by any means necessary within two hours then this same fate will happen upon all the remaining Americans within the building. This would only serve to be the beginning to the nightmare.
The Belko Experiment doesn’t really carry any real A-List stars on its cast list but that certainly doesn’t mean that the players here aren’t capable of putting in the required standards for such a film and with a certain panache to boot.
John Gallagher Jr, Tony Goldwyn and John C. McGinley lead the lines very well. Gallagher is your everyman and idealist of the group, Mike, and he is only interested in doing the right thing but this doesn’t mean to say he isn’t prepared to try to take the game to his captors. Every bit the likeable lead of the movie he’s the guy most would be rooting for in this scenario. In stark contrast Goldwyn’s Barry Norris is an altogether different kettle of fish. At first he seems to be the pragmatic director type of the group and although not one to shy away from exerting his authority he also, at the outset, seemed to have a more human side to him. That all changes as a survival of the fittest attitude takes hold and he is able to employ his special operations training and take command of the situation putting his life above that of all others. He takes a particular dislike to Mike and it’s not long before the tension bites between these two characters.
It was great to see McGinley back on-screen and he was every bit the player you would expect him to be; an, at times, sleazy character but no less determined to be the one who comes out of the situation alive. There’s some other good offerings from the remaining cast and one cast member that is seriously under used to epic proportions but all the other players have a good input to the proceedings.
If you’re a fan of the horror genre then The Belko Experiment is certainly one you should be watching. It’s a messy and merciless investigation into human nature and how people would react when put in situations such as this. There’s plenty of blood splatter brought on by explosions, gun shot and a variety of other murderous methods As you would expect, it carries a very dark and cynical edge and whilst it’s not a very original subject matter it’s all in execution if you take my meaning.
3.5/5 Stars: A new level in office disputes and social experiments