6.1/10
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109 user 161 critic

The Belko Experiment (2016)

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In a twisted social experiment, eighty Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company's intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Roberto Jerez
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The Voice
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Peggy Displasia
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Leota Hynek
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Storyline

In a twisted social experiment, eighty Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company's intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language including sexual references, and some drug use | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 March 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Belko Deneyi  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,137,230 (USA) (19 March 2017)

Gross:

$10,164,675 (USA) (19 May 2017)
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening song over the credits is the Spanish version of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. See more »

Goofs

In the very first scenes, one office character reads the company profile out loud in dutch although he mispronounces every word. See more »

Quotes

Leandra Florez: At the end of the day people are out for themselves.
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Connections

Referenced in Talking Dead: Bury Me Here (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Swan from Ipanema
Written by David Ricard & Camille Saint-Saëns
Courtesy of Lesterbeat Records
Under License from 5 Alarm Music
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User Reviews

 
Repetitive and Thoroughly Unpleasant
20 March 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Belko Experiment is a nasty, gory, chaotic little horror film that pits an office building full of co-workers against each other in a bloody battle of last man/woman standing. This much you probably already know from the trailer. It's a plot that can be succinctly surmised on a cocktail napkin so it's not like you need much to prime you for what's to occur. What they don't tell you however is The Belko Experiment is a nasty, gory and chaotic little horror film without a center. Hunger Games (2012) meets Office Space (1999)? More like Severance (2006) meets a sad, angry teenager's school shooting fantasy.

We catch our first glimpse of our inevitable victims within hours of the titular experiment. There's the office Jim and Pam (Arjona), a couple of one-trick pony side characters that might just make it to the second act (Gunn, Brener, Del Rio), the obvious District 2 sociopaths (Goldwyn, McGinley, Yeoman) and, of course, the mousy office Milton (Diaz) who's just so excited to be starting her first day at the office. It's obvious within the first five minutes which archetypes are going to make it to the top ten, the question becomes, will the other seventy or so office drones be in on the fun or not.

Without spoiling too much for the misguided Purge (2013)-o-philes who still want to watch this trash, I'm sorry to say that The Belko Experiment errs on the side of seriousness and pessimism instead of black comedy or pressure-cooker sensationalism. Any lurid fun that can be had at the expense of cubicle flunkies taking out long-seeded frustrations on their managers or visa versa takes a back seat to the actions and motivations of a selective few who camp out on their respective floors hatching their schemes. The films creativity (or lack thereof) is so markedly uninspired that it might as well write "You'll Get the Point and Little Else Within the Hour" in big banner lettering.

As chaos looms, factions quickly form. Not so much organically, but more as a way of sussing out the good guys from the bad for the sake of the story. Representing team "give a s**t" is the amiable Mike (Gallagher) who walks through the blood splattered cork-board of Belko Industries with a halo around his head despite being a bit of an airhead. He's the kind of guy who'd tell everyone to take the stairs instead of the elevator because it's safer. He's the kind of guy who is a salt and pepper mustache away from being Sully Sullenberger; a goody-two-shoes whose persona is so mundane and diametrically opposed to any of the larger-than-life villains that it just reeks of lazy characterization.

On the other side of the divide is Barry (Goldwyn) who is "open to all options," so long as those options leave him in control. His arc is a little more nuanced than Mike's but given his title and the company that he keeps, I'm amazed the audience's goodwill got as far as the building's dirt parking lot. We all know he's bad and every discussion had in the building cafeteria mulling over what do to is shaded by his badness - life and family be damned.

They're all damned really, though because the lions share of the office has little to no say on how they meet their demise it never seems to matter all that much. The fact that the movie literally lines people up for the slaughter should tell you all you need to know about how repetitive this movie is. For real: Battle Royale (2000), a film with five times more protagonists, still managed to stuff in more plot, meaning and dignity into its story than this film managed to imbue in twelve floors and a murder of recognizable character actors.

The Belko Experiment is a grim, mean, repetitive, slog of a movie that takes all the moral, psychological and political subtext of James Gunn's high-concept and smashes them like watermelons bracing against Gallagher's sledge-o-matic. The ends of this cruel little experiment hints at a sequel, the results of which may give this movie some closure. As of now however, the message I heard loud and clear by the end of this mess was, "watch this movie, and we'll make three more just like it." Rise above people, rise above.


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