The Belko Experiment

Been seeing a lot of previews for this one but I don’t really know much - looks like a cross between Office Space (hey it even has John C. McGinley!) and Battle Royale? My movie attendance is so limited I had to plan carefully, and I really can’t say the last horror movie I actually caught in a cinema. But I’d still love to hear if anyone is planning to go see this, any impressions?

Ha, just finished watching Emerald City!

I’m going to try to see it this weekend. I’m keeping my expectations sorta low, reviews are positive but not effusive.

It’s a James Gunn joint, directed by Greg McLean, who is best known for directing Wolf Creek.

Yeah from what I am finding online, Gunn wrote the movie around 10 years ago but didn’t get around to actually filming until much more recently.

The trailer to this was absolutely terrible, but I honestly couldn’t tell if the movie is supposed to be serious, or if it’s supposed to be a humorous parody of The Hunger Games / Battle Royale.

Like seriously, forget about the merits the movie may or may not have, everything about the trailer was just awful - the editing and music especially make it seem like it’s trying to be intentionally bad.

It didn’t look that bad to me. Of course my first thought when I found James Gunn wrote it was to assume it’s not at all serious, but who knows? Maybe @WhollySchmidt will tell us.

I didn’t think the trailer looked bad either, but I didn’t really like the movie. It wasn’t awful, there just isn’t a lot to recommend it. If you know the premise (from the trailer, or maybe someone just tells you), there’s nothing else in the movie itself any better than what you could imagine on your own. No standout performances, nothing especially clever or subversive, just the stuff you could extrapolate from the trailer going about as well as you’d guess.

Office Space + Battle Royals is about right as a superficial and neutral observation. Along those lines, this movie is one of those t-shirts where Calvin and Hobbes are drawn as Firefly characters or something. Like, okay, those are two things, and you’ve combined them, but…why? For my part, it’s been ages since I saw Battle Royals, so when I watched the trailer I psyched myself into thinking maybe it would be a little more like Cabin in the Woods in an Office Space environment. It had none of the fun of Cabin though.

I’ll get into specifics if anyone else sees it and wants to discuss it, but there’s nothing that’s got me excited or angry enough to launch into it now.

Maybe take this all with a grain of salt, as I’m not a huge horror movie fan. I love It Follows, You’re Next, and…wait I guess that’s it. Yup, I like two horror films. So make of that what you will.

Oh well, I had kind of high hopes what with John McGinley and Michael Rooker being in it. Maybe I’ll Netflix someday.

Unfortunately no one really gets a chance to shine here, even if you love their work elsewhere. Part of that’s just because there’s a pretty big cast to work with (for a while).

I had a chance to see a preview of this film a couple of weeks ago, but had not the time to post about it. I would say that it being marketed and billed as Office Space meets Battle Royal is way off inside the film, though that is obviously what they want you to believe going in.

First half of the film - no action -even though you know what is coming. Then 70 people are “trapped and told to play the game”. Plenty of angsty scenes where they are all confused. Finally an outside force makes about ten heads explode and that gets some people going. What really sucks is the bully group breaks into “the armory” and there are all these handguns. Most people die by pistols, most executed enmass on their knees with hands behind the head. (even though the marketing posted shows the tape dispenser killing). What’s funny is right when the action gets going and close to 30 people are killed (including those executed), the “voice” announced that was not enough killing, so 30 more people die by outside influence of head explosions. Then it is down to the final like 10. Most die by gun again.

What I really wanted to see was clever office satirical humor mix with extreme violence and deaths in creative and unique ways using everyday office objects. I wanted to see the 60 yo lunch lady defend her kitchen against 5 tough dudes in a creative way. I wanted to see someone die via a stapler or some other device with gibs flying on the camera lens. I wanted commentary on the soulless life that is corporate office work. But none of that is there.

This has a wide distribution and I doubt it will last long in the theater. Short version, wait for nextflix.

Funny aside to it, at the preview they had guys in suits walking around the theater during the show to “make sure no one was recording it with their phone”…which is really silly as someone ripping a film by taking a video of it in house is sooooo 90’s. Today it is simply stolen off the Internet.

Your point about the guns didn’t occur to me, but I agree and now it’s one more lackluster aspect of the film.

For my part, that whole middle section [spoiler]sucked because they try to milk it for all this tension around a moral dilemma that they handle in the most uncompelling, surface level manner. The boss makes his choice pretty early, and he never wavers, the “hero” makes his choice and never wavers, and then the rest of the workers divide cleanly into victims and the couple of henchmen with the boss. There’s a weak attempt at some struggle with the decision from the female lead, but it goes no where.

There’s no action in this part, it seems like they’re really pushing the weight of the ethics of this, but just assuming that “gosh, this is a tough situation” is enough without actually having anything to say about it. And then it’s all “resolved” (the boss’s executions interrupted) by chance and the movie abruptly shifts tones.[/spoiler]

Like the music selections, there were several choices about the tone of this movie that were at odds with each other.