What would it take for a group of humans to return to their base animal instincts? To take the phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ and apply it to their current surroundings? It’s an interesting sociological question and an area of human nature that scientists have pondered for years, and The Belko Experiment isn’t the first horror film to ask the question.
When 80 employees of the Belko Corporation are locked down in their high-rise office and informed that they must kill 30 of their fellow workers within two hours or risk the lives of the rest, they are torn between trying to escape or saving the greatest number. Realising they are at the mercy of their captors, pretty soon everything descends into chaos as people turn on each other and the twisted experiment runs its course.
The focus is on the violence, which takes many gruesome turns, and while this is entertaining it doesn’t leave much else for the narrative to work with. Stereotypical caricatures of good and evil and a plotline that’s been seen in one form or another around a dozen times – following the Battle Royale formulae almost exactly – make it easy to predict how the story will unfold.
Still, it doesn’t take long for the action to kick off, with employees quickly splitting into groups based on how they feel about the killing. So there’s barely a moment when the characters aren’t facing off – and even when they aren’t attacking each other, they engage in darkly funny exchanges that benefit from the cast’s great onscreen chemistry. Reviewed by Roxy Simons
Release: 21 August 2017
From: 20th Century Fox, Orion Pictures
Format: DVD & Blu-ray
RRP: £15.99 (DVD), £24.99 (Blu-ray)
Age Rating: 18