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23 Mar 2017

Disgusting, Not Deep: 'The Belko Experiment' Is an OK Horror Film That Is Not as Clever as It Thinks It Is

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Adria Arjona and John Gallagher Jr. in The Belko Experiment. Adria Arjona and John Gallagher Jr. in The Belko Experiment.

The Belko Experiment is a decent-enough yet schlocky horror offering that thinks it is deeper and cleverer than it actually is.

Penned by James Gunn, this silly movie pits a bunch of office workers against one another after a voice comes over their intercom telling them to start killing each other off—or everybody dies. The building is sealed; the “experiment” is put into motion; and the likes of Tony Goldwyn and John C. McGinley start acting like homicidal assholes.

Directed by Greg McLean, the film is fun on a very basic level. (If you like movies where lots of heads blow up, this one’s for you!) There’s a definite terror involved in not knowing whose head is going to blow up next, and the folks handling the gore factor do a pretty good job. However, when the big reveal comes at the end, there are no surprises, and the movie loses a few points.

John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane) is good as the protagonist, a guy who does his darndest to not join in on the interoffice carnage.

You could look at The Belko Experiment as deep satire, or a resonating meditation on the current state of mind control when it comes to government and employers in an increasingly paranoid society. However, I like to look at it as a film where brains go flying in a fairly convincing and somewhat entertaining manner.

The Belko Experiment is playing at theaters across the valley.

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