It seems to me that grind-house films are having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. And in a way, I suppose that it was inevitable.
Because with the the ‘super blockbuster’ dominating the silver screen, it only make sense that the alternative is to go tiny. It can also be a good way for directors and actors to unwind after making a huge film. After all, if a 5 million dollar film flops in the woods, does anyone hear it?
Which brings me to today’s nasty little beast, The Belko Experiment, a blending of Battle Royale with corporate America, written by James Gunn (The director of both Guardians of the Galaxy films) and believe you me, it is a very nasty little piece of work.
One seemingly ordinary day, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and are ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
Alliances are made and broken, people are driven to the edge of madness and beyond heads explode with gleeful abandon and it’s a pretty good, gory time.
The people react like people forced into this nightmare of a situation, some try to become better, some cower and others become monsters. It’s just a shame it all feels so empty.
I mean here was a golden opportunity to satirize cooperate dog-eat-dog mentality exporting workers around the world to save a buck, platitudes designed to hide gruesome truths and this film plays it straight for no real reason that I can work out.
I mean yes, its a good, gory ‘what would you do?’ film. Please don’t get me wrong on that point but I was hoping for something a little bit meatier. And also, for a tight, claustrophobic film I felt like it would have been better served to have been shot in real time, increasing the unrelenting tension and could have been done without very, very easily.
I would also have like the space to shrink over time. Again, this could have easily been done and could have lead to a tenser and more exciting film as the participants are forced to chose between suicide and fighting to the death.
But for what it was? Yeah, it passed 88 minutes harmlessly enough. I could have done with an extra ten minutes added to it and a bit more time developing the characters but it’s another good one to throw on the telly when you’ve got your friends over and you’ve had a few beers.
My Score- See It