Wednesday, August 2, 2017
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (2017)
Directed by: Greg McLean
Written By: James Gunn
Cinematography by: Luis David Sansas
Edited By; Julia Wong
Cast: John Gallagher Jr., Adria Arjona, Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley, Melonie Diaz, Sean Gunn, Owain Yeoman, Josh Brenner, Michael Rooker, Abraham Benrubi, Brent Sexton, Gregg Henry, Rusty Schwimmer, James Earl
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.
This film might be a bit harsh for some audiences. Though by the advertisements you know exactly what you are going to get when it comes to this film. That is similar and inspired by the movies BATTLE ROYALE, CABIN IN THE WOODS, MEAN GUNS and SEVERANCE. Only with subtle differences that make it it's own creature. Though like those films it involves Characters in a foreign land. Fighting for survival against each other. Where the only way to survive is eliminate one another. So there is an audience for it.
The film is written by James Gunn who also wrote and directed SLITHER which seemed inspired by the film NIGHT OF THE CREEPS. So that the mood of the film is so crazy and off the wall that it's partially hard to take serious bit provides an unpredictable atmosphere.
The film tries to humanize the characters and their actions. But it still seems to take some glee and general excitement from the thrill of violence. That tries to be surprising but also infectious for the audience. As it seems more a violent fantasy that wants to object some reality into it. Though it never feels quite that way.
As the characters are more types than individuals. So that while we can feel some closeness that we don't want to see them perish. We really can't identify or really know them enough that when they perish it feels personal. Just as characters turn into murders rather quickly. But at least most of them show signs of guilt.
The characters aren't deep or too memorable really one or two dimensional. Especially as the events in the film happen so fast they really Don't have time to notice the change though John C. McGinley character seems primed as a pervert and set up for it. Where as Tony Goldwyn has a villainous scowl after awhile.
Surprising as some characters set up to survive or be heroes end up becoming martyred and victims. Unlike horror films we watch to see how some of the actors are introduced and how they will perish or to see if they will.
The cast is full of recognizable actors. So you feel like you know them somewhat. Where we have macabre surroundings with some comedy thrown in.
This is a fun film even if once in a while tot can't shake that it feels familiar considering the subject. It's a film that isn't stupid and runs on a bunch of energy and tension.
Though when the characters aren't harming each other, to put a stopwatch on the action the characters have implants in their head that can be activated by remote and the powers that be will have them explode and kill a mass of others if certain numbers of workers aren't dead by a certain time. with the film offering exploding heads almost like when zombies are eliminated in horror movies and in certain sci-fi films like SCANNERS.
The film while not a masterpiece. These are the type of films that one wishes were funded or put into production more. As even though not for all audiences. It's a film that is inventive small scale and offers tons of entertainment as well as something to think about. It can easily be seen as torture porn to some. As it Isn’t profound nor give a true reason for all the carnage on screen other than as entertainment.
Hopefully the film gains an audience as a minor cult film or at least an appreciation in the long run. Though to tell the truth if you are interested in this type of film you will love it. if you haven’t seen one of the films it is similar to, If not this film will seem like the same only offering new surroundings.
The ending sets up sequels or a conspiracy that unfortunately doesn't look like it will happen because of failure at the box office. Making it even more mysterious.