Review – The Belko Experiment

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by Nile Fortner

On Friday, March 17, 2017, I decided to see The Belko Experiment. The theater was flooded with parents, and their little girls wearing yellow dresses, tutus with matching tiaras, and fully engaging themselves for the premiere of the new live action Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast has been getting major buzz for the last few months now, and even I would love to see this movie. Yeah, that’s right. Your ol’ tough boy from the hard streets has a soft spot for that love story! I’m just kidding; the only hard streets I’ve seen is the cracked sidewalk by my local CVS Pharmacy.

Even though I do want to see the new Disney movie, it didn’t help I went to the movies with one of my macho man family members. I had planned to see Beauty and the Beast and The Belko Experiment. However, my macho man family member said to me, “Hell no we ain’t watching that Beauty and the Beast bulls*t!”

I first wanted to support The Belko Experiment for a majority of reasons. Such as, it hardly had any T.V. spots, trailers, commercials, I knew a majority of critics would hate this film, and I knew it would be a flop at the box office trying to compete with Disney. Literally, I only saw one trailer for this movie and nothing else. Some people are completely unaware that this movie even exists. At the theater, it was a total of only 11 people.

If you are one of those people who are completely unaware of this movie, let me drop the plot for you.

The Belko Experiment is written by James Gunn (Super, Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy) and is directed by Greg McLean (Wolf Creek).

We’ve all had those days where we felt like killing our fellow co workers. It’s just another day at the office. Filing papers, wearing a tie that took 20 minutes to long to put on, stapling papers, photocopying papers, half-asleep security guard, someone smoking a blunt before break, and computer work that no one feels like really doing.

In Columbia, 80 American workers have what seems like a very day-to-day office job working at Belko. Suddenly, large metal doors shield the building. A mysterious voice comes over the intercom telling the workers, if you guys do not kill a certain amount of people within the time period we give you, we are going to kill double that and kill random people.

At first, the workers think it is all a joke, but this is no laughing matter. From that point on, people’s heads explode; we get gunfire, murder, carnage, and office employees fighting each other to the death! Damn, and I thought my job was killer.

This is a movie I honestly have mixed feelings about. I am going to state my opinion on the positive aspects this movie has. For one, this movie is not for everyone. If you are someone who enjoys B – Movies, cheesy horror flicks, want to see bloodshed, and grindhouse cinema likeness, I think you’ll enjoy this film.

At times, this movie feels like it could have been a 80s movie. This film is written by James Gunn, and when it comes to movies that he has written, I feel like I can tell from the script he is someone who was inspired by 80s sleaze movies. For instance, his 2006 movie Slither feels very much like 1986s Night of the Creeps.

I personally enjoy those types of movies, and I thought the movie captured that likeness and tone very well. There was never really a dull moment in this movie, mainly because the film dives right into the kill your peers plot. Really, within 15 minutes or less the ball gets rolling.

Even the characters feel old school. We get the generic hero with the generic love interest; we get the stereotypical potheads, the pervert, and more. The cast was okay, I really thought it were the potheads, that kept the tone of the movie from getting to serious at times.

Is The Belko Experiment as Bad as People are Making it Out to Be?

So from those aspects I do like the movie. On the other hand, this movie could have been better.

As I mentioned, I do enjoy the movie from a horror and B – Movie standpoint. On the other hand, I wish the movie could have been more original, and written a little bit better. Honestly, in my opinion this is the weakest James Gunn script he has written.

James Gunn is one of my all time favorite directors. I like Slither, and I absolutely love Super and Guardians of the Galaxy. I actually consider those two movies to be on my all time favorites list.

I believe this movie would have been better if Gunn actually directed it. Not that the director, Greg McLean is bad, because he is not by any means. I just think Gunn would have made for some better comedic moments, thrills, and tone. This movie takes itself seriously, and I think the tone of Slither, comedy/horror, would have made for a better tone.

In addition, I believe this script could have been more original and overall written a little bit more effectively.

This movie has a great concept, a concept we’ve seen so many times before. Only this time it is with a parade of gore. This movie reminds me of so many other movies. For instance, Saw, The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, and The Running Man.

This movie has an amazing concept, but it touched upon familiar ground. I feel like with some rewrites this film could have been that fun B – Movie horror film, with a little comedic moment, and could have had a message for the audience. A message about human morals, selfishness, playing God, instincts, human psychology and our will to survive.

Even though I mentioned there is not one dull moment throughout the film, the kills get a little dull after a while. A majority of the office workers kill each other with guns and knives.

Maybe this is the horror movie nerd in me, but I was hoping for at least that one badass kill I could remember. I wish there was that one kill that was creative. For example, maybe they use some more office supplies to kill each other. Bash someone’s head repeatedly on a copy machine, while the person is bashing their brains out, photocopies come out of the printer of the person’s head being slammed. Or a small crossbow made out of pencils and rubber bands. Something like the Office Depot of death!

I really do have mixed feelings about this movie. At the end of the day, it did entertain me, and that is one of the most important things for me when it comes to movies. I do believe it is one of the weaker James Gunn scripts, and this story had more areas to explore. I believe The Belko Experiment earns a…

3 out of 5 Hairpieces.

So those are my overall thoughts on the film. If you’ve seen The Belko Experiment, did you like it or dislike it? Also, what is your favorite James Gunn movie?

Well I’m about to clock out from this review, because this job has got me tired. Plus, I got to try on my yellow dress, and tutu for Beauty and the Beast. Until next time, thank you all for reading and or viewing, and I hope you all have an amazing day as always. 🙂

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