Netflix has added a horror movie that will scare you away from any desk job
Killer cellotape dispensers, elaborate conspiracies, Dr. Cox from Scrubs... What more do you need?
Most film geeks will probably agree that two of the most underrated movies of the past 20 years are Mike Judge's Office Space (1999) and Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale (2000).
Granted, a comedy about a mind-numbingly dull corporate job and a horror flick about 42 Japanese teenagers being instructed by their teacher (and the government) to kill each other might seem like two bizarre examples to use.
That's because they are.
On the surface, there is very little these movies have in common, other than the fact that they are criminally overlooked. However, if you are a fan of both, then The Belko Experiment will be music to your ears, since it successfully bridges an unlikely gap.
One day, a group of employees at the Belko corporation come into work expecting another regular 9 to 5 grind. Only when the final person arrives do things get a little strange.
Out of nowhere the building is blockaded, and a voice tells everyone that two of their colleagues must die or else people will be killed at random. Initially, everyone is dismissive of the instructions and they decide instead to find a way of escape.
However, as it soon becomes apparent that nobody is coming to help them they panic. Things only get worse as they are informed that a bomb has been planted in their heads, and refusing to perform any of the given tasks will lead to its possible detonation.
It's not ideal, no.
On top of that, there can only be one survivor in the whole game.
Fantastic. Where do I send my CV?
It is a none-too-subtle satire on corporate life and the pains of navigating workplace relations, using sexual harassment, class and the idea of people being reduced to numbers as a way of ingeniously driving the plot forward. Either you can sit back and watch the horror unfold, or you can take on-board the social commentary. It works pretty well, whichever way you want to view it.
What's more, it is decorated by a surprisingly eclectic all-star cast, including Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and John C. McGinley, or Dr. Cox from Scrubs.
And really, as you might expect, McGinley steals the show as an unnervingly sociopathic fellow, whose grin is creepy enough to make you feel more nauseous than you would by viewing every stylized violent scene combined... and there are a lot of them.
Directed by Greg McLean, who brought us Wolf Creek, and penned by screenwriter James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2), The Belko Experiment is an absolutely gripping ride, which is utterly tasteless and daft, but occasionally as cerebral as an alternative action movie like Snowpiercer.
What's more, it reminds you that there are very few items in this world that cannot be turned into a weapon.
That's right. This film might make you fear office stationary.
The Belko Experiment is available for streaming on Netflix from 21 January.