Directed by Greg McLean [Other horror films: Wolf Creek (2005), Rogue (2007), Wolf Creek 2 (2013), The Darkness (2016)]
More or less a rehash of Battle Royale in a corporate setting, The Belko Experiment isn’t really anything new or all that special. I do think it’s pretty fun, but if one is left feeling like it’s ultimately pointless and derivative, I understand that also.
For me, the set-up brought a lot of interesting possibilities to the forefront. I certainly enjoyed the social examination aspect of it, with the dog-eat-dog world of corporate America coming down to violent and gory massacres. Very fitting of a system based off competition, in my opinion. I wish a little more of the mindset behind the experiment was explained, but what we got was fine.
So many individuals in the film were, at the very least, good. Of course, John Gallagher Jr. (of The Newsroom and 10 Cloverfield Lane) did great as a character with extraordinarily difficult choices to make. Tony Goldwyn, John C. McGinley, and Owain Yeoman made for a great team of antagonists (that lobby execution sequence was brutal). I sort of appreciated what they did with Melonie Diaz’s character, but Adria Arjona’s didn’t do much for me.
Other stand-outs include Brent Sexton (loved his scene toward the end), Sean Gunn, James Earl, Michael Rooker (God, I wish he was in this movie longer), David Del Rio, and Abraham Benrudi (who I know from one of my favorite episodes of the X-Files).
The conclusion is more-or-less what I was expecting, so no big surprises, but at the same time, it was moderately satisfying. I did like the concluding shot, so no complaints there.
Obviously, The Belko Experiment doesn’t do all that much that hasn’t been done before. It wasn’t even all that gory (there were some good scenes, but overall, the violence wasn’t too noticeable to me), but at the same time, I enjoyed it. It’s one of those films you can just sit back, relax, and watch, without having to really think too much. I liked this one, and while I understand the more tepid reactions to it, I find it above average, and would generally recommend it.