REVIEW – THE BELKO EXPERIMENT – The Office takes a dark turn.
An American company in Columbia, South America. The open plan offices the usual office types. The gay guy, the tech nerd, the newbie. The bitch, the sexy girl, the lech and the John Krasinski type (John Gallagher Jr.). The PA makes an announcement that the employees should murder 3 of their co-workers in the next twenty minutes or six of them will be killed. Or as we call it in the studio, Wednesday.
What follows is a small-scale generic exercise. The talent behind the camera – the Guardians of the Galaxy guy James Gunn wrote the script and Wolf Creek Oz-gore meister Greg McLean directed means that proceedings are clippy and as painfully sharp as a paper cut. The gore mounts as the challenges predictably escalate and the humor comes in a number of sight gags, which want to be subversive, but are really just sight gags. No genuine rage enthuses the satire so that it isn’t really satire at all. And this wouldn’t matter so much, but the last act is so ploddingly predictable the film could really do with a reveal. Some stunning Cabin in the Woods style game-changer. Instead, the reveal is already in the title. And the villainy behind everything is almost laughably banal. SPOILER (I think): sociologists! I hate those guys. The one horrifying element of the finale is the promise there will be a sequel.