Writer/Director James Gunn is best known for his excellent "Guardians of the Galaxy" films. He takes a decidedly more bloody turn with a fantastic concept in THE BELKO EXPERIMENT.
The premise alone is worth the price of admission.
Picture an American company doing business in a very remote part of Bogota, Columbia. In a well guarded monolith of a building built to keep armies out, the inside looks like any American office, down to the corner offices, suits and ties and cubicles.
Eleven minutes into the film, a voice comes over speakers throughout the building and announces that there are currently 80 people in the building and in two hours, if 30 of they haven't been killed, they will kill 60 of them at random.
Who "they" are is left for our office workers and the viewer to discover.
As you and the staff realize that it's not a joke, watching the personalities and players (d)evolve into their primal selves makes for one hell of a horror thrill ride.
Tony Goldwyn (Ghost, Scandal) is the boss, John C. McGinley (Seven, The Rock) is the office perve, Brent Sexton (The Killing) is the everyman manager and Adria Arjona (True Detective) is terrific as Leandra.
John Gallagher Jr (who blew us away on Broadway in "Spring Awakening") is Mike Milch, the central character who's meant to be our voice as the viewer. Gallagher is always good, but feels a little underwhelming here, taking a little to long understand what's happening. You want to yell at him to get with the program and be the hero!
Of course, that's what the film does well, is make you think about what you would do in the scenario.
The film doesn't quite deliver on the promise of its first half, which is tight, fast and fascinating.
It nails an interesting last five minutes though.
If you like your horror films very graphic, over the top, profanity laden and pretty clever, you're gonna love the ride.
They had my interest from the moment I realized the Belko building wasn't meant to keep armies out, its meant to keep them IN.
BELKO gets a blood splattered B.