This movie made me come to a very disheartening realization after seeing it. As I sat in the empty theater and the credits rolled, and let me stop right there because reading that back it sort of makes it sound like I was sitting in the theater after everyone had left, contemplating what I had just watched. Only half of that is true, I did sit for a second and reflect on what I had seen, but the theater was empty from the beginning. Now that that’s more clear, let’s continue. Anywho, what this movie made me realize is that there is such a thing as too much brutal violence for me. I never thought I would say that, and I sort of feel like a pussy for typing it, but it’s true. The Belko Experiment was too unrelentingly violent for ol’ Shawny boy. BE WARNED: I am going to go full spoiler here. I normally don’t do that, but I feel like I need to so I can properly explain what I hated about this, and to defend my objection of this piece of trash being too violent. So if you don’t want to know what happens, turn back.
This movie just is not what I thought it would be. I only barely remember seeing the trailer once, but what I gathered from it was that a bunch of people would get stuck in a building and are ordered to kill each other by an unknown voice coming over the office’s loudspeaker.That is all true, but I thought it would be a silly, uberviolent, fun movie that knows it’s a stupid premise and doesn’t try to make you think too hard. Just over-the-top violence that’s, oh I don’t know, FUN to watch. Nope. This movie plays everything completely straight, takes itself wayyyyyyy too seriously, and falls into just about every cliche of the genre. It’s just a paint by numbers horror-thriller. I wish I had done more research into this before seeing it. I went in looking to have a fun time, but it turned out to be torture.
First off, the characters are so poorly written stereotypes it’s unbelievable. They have the super cool boss guy who turns out to be a cold-blooded murderous special forces guy. You have Dr. Cox from Scrubs as the creepy wierdo muscley psychopath who enjoys killing and is special forces guy #2. The holier than thou, golden souled, hobbit-looking hero who refuses to obey his captors by killing and battles against the villains. The attractive love interest. The evil head government man who looks like John Travolta at the end who vaguely tells the survivor why this happened and who actually has scars all over his face so you for sure know he’s evil. There is a pothead character who ends every sentence with “Maaaahn” or “Duuuuude” and is into conspiracies. He’s, quite possibly, the most annoying character I have ever seen. As soon as he appeared, I wanted him to die. I had to watch COUNTLESS people suffer horrible deaths but this asshole made it to almost the end and he just gets shot in the neck and falls down. The one guy I wanted to see torn limb from limb and they didn’t even give me that. Fuck you.
Ok, now the “plot.” Belko is some sore of corporation in a remote location in Colombia. One day a loud voice runs through the building saying that basically the 80 or so employees in the building need to kill 30 people in two hours, otherwise 60 of them will be killed via bombs that were planted in their heads. Super-strong metal barriers encase the building preventing escape, and some random people are killed via the head bombs to show the employees this is serious. If anyone tries to remove the bomb, they die. Anyone tries to destroy the hidden cameras, dies. Try to hang a banner on the roof, dead. You get the gist.
I was somewhat in at this point, but when these terrible characters began acting realistically I knew I was in trouble. Obviously the special forces guys believe they need to kill the 30 people. Obviously hero man is going to oppose them, but he’s such an idiot I found it hard to root for them. He has ample opportunities to eliminate these enormous threats, and never does. He knows the stakes are real, and still refuses to kill these psychos. So eventually they get guns, they round everyone up, they count out 30 people, kneel them down and execute them. That’s it, just innocent people being executed. Isn’t that fun? Hero man is saved when the lights go out and some people can get away, of course. It was just too much. You know how it’s all gonna go. Literally everyone who has had more than 5 minutes of screen time makes it to the final group of people, it eventually comes down to hero man vs evil boss guy and hero kills him with a stupid tape dispenser. Yupp, he really kills him by bashing his head in with a tape dispenser. It’s so stupid.
That’s really the entire plot. It’s barebones, lazy, cliche-filled crap. Some of this might be unfair because I was expecting a different tone, but it’s just not an enjoyable movie. The best thing about it is it’s only like 80 minutes. I also did enjoy the early portion, oddly enough the stuff leading up to the actual killing. It was pretty tense and nervewracking, but the stink of the annoying characters always lingered.
The Belko Experiment is not a good movie, and I really think it could have been. It was too realistically brutal and intense, when it should have been a fun battle royale of over-the-top violence. Make all the blood and gore fun instead of gut punching and sickening. At the end of the day it’s just normal people being slaughtered. Maybe you think you’ll be into that, if so give it a try. But the movie is lame, generic garbage. The beginning is interesting, but that’s it. I fully intend to never watch this movie again.
My Score: 3.5 out of 10