“The Belko Experiment” is a decently-made thriller that is like many others of its kind: It starts out with an intriguing premise with a lot of style, but then loses steam with its recycled ideas halfway through.
The movie takes place in Bogota, Columbia, at an office firm called Belko and it centers on a new employee (Melonie Diaz) who’s adjusting to her job on a bad day. An unknown and unseen voice blasts over the intercom, telling the employees they are being held hostage unless they are willing to kill off some of their coworker. If they do, they’ll survive.
Eventually, some employees do die, but the voice isn’t finished with them. Now they move on to the next round in the sadistic game: Killing off more! How original. I don’t think I saw that coming.
You’re not gonna see much in “The Belko Experiment” that hasn’t been done before and better. However, it does have moments of inventive violence, including one scene involving a coworker using a pickax on a traitor employee. It’s bloody good fun.
The rest of the movie plays like a mishmash of “Office Space” meets “The Purge” without any of the ingredients that audiences might’ve enjoyed from either of those two films.
The ending also feels like it’s setting itself up for a sequel, but I’m not sure I want to partake in this experiment again if the filmmakers can’t offer up something more enticing. The cast is good and have some nice moments, but this is not a very fresh or original horror thriller.
Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, language including sexual references, and some drug use.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.