In a twisted social experiment, eighty Americans are locked in the Belko company office, situated in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice on the intercom to kill each other, or be killed. One of these employees is Mike Milch (John Gallagher Jr.).
The Belko Experiment is certainly a different sort of film, and it keeps just one step ahead of the viewer, who at most attempts, would fail to predict the next turn in the films plot.
The film is a balance of action, thriller, and some slasher style horror. Yet, while it has the appearance of a B grade film, it puts many an intellectual question to its viewer, challenging all those who share its story, to ponder how they might react, if placed in a situation such as that depicted here. Would it be possible to survive, yet stick to ones morals? Is it a situation where one should forgo all societal norms, and do whatever necessary to survive?
It is the constant mix of emotion, and genre that keeps the viewer intrigued, cheering one character, only to have ones hopes for them dashed as they meet a violent end, or cause the end of another.
The Belko Experiment in itself, feels like an experimental film, lending more credence to the premise. A fun, if sometimes violent, journey down the rabbit hole of the human psyche.
Overall, the disc is of a good technical quality, with an enjoyable main feature, and several bits of bonus material.
The Belko Experiment is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.
Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on-screen, nor any visible colour bleed. Details is good in darker scenes.
Viewers with the relevant hardware or software could scale up to a larger, or higher resolution screen, should they wish.
Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, with dialogue clear via the centre channel. There is fair use of the surround channels, serving to expand the on-screen world, and further draw the viewer into the action.
Audio is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, and includes a descriptive audio track.
Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The main menu, after a brief video transition, has a static background, with accompanying music. There are options to play the main feature, setup, scenes, and extras.
The setup menu leads to a sub-menu with text options for audio soundtracks, and a plethora of subtitles.
The scenes sub-menus each have four large, still, colour thumbnails, for a total of 28 chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, meaning an amount of guesswork is needed in order to navigate to a specific place in the main feature.
The extras sub-menu has a text list of all the bonus features.
There are a two small video featurettes includes in the bonus features of the disc, along with deleted scenes, trailer and a few photos from behind the scenes. Certainly more than what one usually gets on a DVD these days.
Rules of the Game: The Secrets Behind The Belko Experiment – Writer, directors James Gunn talks about the original idea he had for the film, and his vision for the movie, how he wished to have the events portrayed. This featurette has some interesting information imparted to the viewer, and should intertest the average viewer, and budding filmmaker, alike.
Lee Hardcastle’s Survival Tips – A collection of four short clips, that look as if they were designed to be TV spots, created with clay, to illustrate the deadly tasks laid out before the Belko employees. Rather violent, but amusing, at the same time.
These can be played one at a time, or via a playlist that will play them all.
Deleted Scenes – A collection of 8 deleted scenes, each with its own text title prior to the scene.
Gallery – A collection of production stills, showing behind the scenes of the shoot.
Theatrical Trailer – The films theatrical trailer.