TIFF 2016 Movie Review: THE BELKO EXPERIMENT (USA 2016) ****

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

the_belko_experiment_poster.jpgTHE BELKO EXPERIMENT (USA 2016) ****
Directed by Greg McLean

Starring: Josh Brener, Tony Goldwyn, Michael Rooker

Review by Gilbert Seah

Aussie director (Australians always have their special edgy sense of humour) and scriptwriter James Gunn (remember his super-gross SLITHER?) join forces to deliver the perfect Midnight Madness vehicle, which would get my vote for the Midnight Madness Best Film Award.

Office politics turns into a real-life survival of the fittest when a group of co-workers are forced into a sick game of kill or be killed by unknown sinister forces that lock down their building, in this gruesomely funny horror thriller. It at first seems to be an ordinary morning on the job for a group of Americans working for a not-for-profit company in a modern office building in Colombia.

After noticing that their Colombian colleagues have not arrived for work, office worker Mike (John Gallagher, Jr.) spots some unfamiliar security guards entering a large hangar nearby. Moments later, an icy voice comes over the building’s PA system and calmly explains that the employees must kill a certain number of their co-workers — if not, they will be killed themselves.

While the boss (Tony Goldwyn) tries to calm the troops, Mike belatedly realizes that something truly sinister is going on — and when metal doors come sliding down on all the building’s exits and windows, it becomes clear that friends and colleagues are now suddenly enemies in a bloody and brutal battle to the death. Even before the action begins, McLean delivers lots of inside office jokes like the isolation of working in a cubicle, sexual harassment and the introduction of new employees.

The film is a mix between disaster, sci-fi, horror and comedy which means that the filmmakers have plenty to play around with. In the kill to survive scenario, there is the good guy with all the right motives, the bad boss (handsome Goldwyn doing the villain as he did in GHOST), the unstable psycho, the asshole, the plump good meaning lady and so on. Though I and expected the ending to be a let down, a surprising twist in the story proved me wrong.

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT proves to be very violent fun, if one can stomach the violence.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W46xo3AvBA

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