“The Belko Experiment” (2016) is a fairly gut-wrenching and potent horror film. I was going to describe it as “Battle Royale” (2000) meets “The Office” (2005 – 2013). But, from the looks of the poster, somebody more or less beat me to it.
As you can imagine, there is a sequence of blood-curdling events after the workers of an entire office building are forced to fight one another to the death. It’s made all the more horrifying (and a bit sad) by a surprisingly effective early montage that shows these people are indeed likable and relatable.
I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. There’s a twist that is nicely satisfying, I’ll grant the movie that. But there was far too little exposition, and a closing shot that was a little too ambiguous and open-ended … maybe even abstract. I’d be happier if the person doing the talking told us a lot more. If you think about it, they mostly just reiterated what various characters had hypothesized earlier.
This film has a couple of “I swear I know that guy” actors. These include Tony Goldwyn, who I last remember from 1990’s “Ghost.” Turns out he’s a damn fine actor (in addition to being one of those people who weirdly appear to age little or not at all). They also include John C. McGinley, Owain Yeoman and Michael Rooker. And if you think you can recall the gentle giant played by Abraham Benrubi, the actor is none other than “Big Mike” from the classic “The X-Files” episode, “Arcadia.”
I was going to rate “The Belko Experiment” a 9 out of 10; it was exceptionally good. But I was just too nonplussed by that rushed ending, and I think I’ll settle on an 8.