TIFF 2016: ‘The Belko Experiment’ Is ‘Office Space’ Meets ‘The Purge’

Who’s Behind It

Director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and writer James Gunn (like, Guardians of the Galaxy James Gunn).

Who’s In It

Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), John C. McGinley (Office Space), John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane), Adria Arjona, Melonie Diaz, and a tape dispenser.


Who’ll Love It

Horror/action fans of The Purge-style kill fests, misanthropes, rogue sociologists.

What’s It About

Employees of US corporation Belko Industries show up at their Bogota, Colombia headquarters to find that all the locals have been given the day off. Before they can finish their morning water cooler talk, the building’s on a literal lockdown with everyone trapped inside. A voice comes over the intercom and begins making demands. The instructions are simple: kill or risk being killed.


Why You Should See It

Whether you look at it as extreme workplace catharsis for the cubicle set or a bloody extension of the Stanford Prison Experiment, in the end, Belko doesn’t much to say about office culture, gun violence, or… well, anything. There’s less meaning here than in the Purge franchise (and that’s saying something). The movie is more about its concept that its content, which doesn’t make it completely unworthy of a watch. Amidst all that carnage Gunn gives his characters some pretty funny lines to toss out, and the violence itself is cartoonish and occasionally comedic. Plus, the guy from Office Space.

When You Can See It

The Belko Experiment screened Saturday night as part of the Midnight Madness program, and is slated for a March 2017 release.