One day at the office, 100 or so workers get a surprise. Locked inside their office building at Belko Industries, an innocuous staffing firm in Colombia, the employees are told they must kill their co-workers in order to survive the day. The Belko Experiment, written and produced by James Gunn and directed by Greg McLean, quickly becomes a tense bloodbath as these people, who were friendly co-workers just hours earlier, turn violent.
When the experiment begins, there are 80 people in the Belko building. Many of them are, to be blunt, cannon fodder. You know a bunch of people are going to die in this movie, and it’s easier in some cases if we don’t even know their names.
This is the sort of story where absolutely no one is safe, so you’ll want to be on your toes as the weapons swing and blood flows. Here are 10 of the most important characters in The Belko Experiment, introduced without spoilers or any real hints about who lives and who dies.
1. Leandra (Adria Arjona) — The Ambitious One
Leandra is on her way up the corporate ladder at Belko, which means she’s in a weird position. She works directly alongside the boss Barry and has attracted the attentions of smiling weirdo Wendell, whose desk is near her office. As the experiment gets underway and things get really bad, Leandra is willing to do whatever she must in order to survive, which might just cause conflict with her maybe boyfriend Mike.
2. Mike (John Gallagher, Jr.) — The Voice Of Reason
If a loudspeaker in your office announced that employees were expected to begin killing co-workers, at least one person would stand up to proclaim, “This isn’t right!” That’s Mike, a nice guy who is the most determined to be guided by his moral compass as things go south. Mike and Leandra have a little fling going, but the violent events of the Belko experiment will put their bond to the test.
3. Dany (Melonie Diaz) — The New Girl
Poor Dany. Her first day at a new job could very well be her last day on Earth. Quiet Dany is just beginning to learn about the social landscape at Belko, when violence erupts. Her first instinct is to hide — she has no association with anyone, after all, so no protection — but that doesn’t mean she’s inactive.
4. Marty (Sean Gunn) — The Stoner
The Belko Experiment writer/producer James Gunn often casts his younger brother Sean as slightly strange comic relief, and here the young Gunn plays a chilled-out member of Belko’s rooftop smokers club. When things literally start to pop off, his chemically maintained composure slips, and fast. Marty is more willing to believe in kooky conspiracy theories than take the day’s events at face value — and that might not be the best survival tactic.
5. Peggy (Rusty Schwimmer) — The Friendly One
Everyone likes Peggy. She’s nice and nonthreatening, she’ll laugh at your jokes, and seems like the person who would spot a friend their lunch money. Maybe people take advantage of Peggy, so could the sudden disruption of office order afford her the chance to indulge personality traits she typically represses? Honestly, we’d love to see Peggy as a classic Final Girl, but to be realistic, the odds aren’t great.
6. Barry (Tony Goldwyn) — The Boss
Barry comes across as a pretty upstanding guy. He’s smart and authoritative, but not without compassion. When the experiment begins, he’s just as confused as anyone else and does his part to maintain order and calm. Barry’s military past, however, gives him skills few other employees have, and once the office divides into factions, this guy’s natural leadership skills come in very handy.
7. Wendell (John C. McGinley) — The Weirdo
This toothy troublemaker smiles big, but there’s a weird look in his wide eyes. Is Wendell a happy-go-lucky guy, or is he actually unhinged? The experiment is the sort of scenario where a person’s true nature can emerge quickly, and you can bet that we’ll see Wendell’s actual truth as the company goes full-on Lord of the Flies.
8. Evan (James Earl) — The Security Guard
As the only guy in the building with access to guns, Evan becomes very popular very fast when Belko employees are told to begin killing each other off. Fortunately, Evan is level-headed and he doesn’t have time for any aggro nonsense as the strong-arm faction attempts to secure weapons. But Evan is basically a regular guy and he’s going to have to fight for his life alongside everyone else.
9. Bud (Michael Rooker) — The Practical One
From the moment we see maintenance man Bud Melks strolling into work, we know the type of guy he is: A real "beers and brats on Sat" dude, probably with a garage full of tools and a healthy but not excessive football fandom. When metal barriers close Belko workers in their isolated office building, Bud is right there with a blowtorch and an effort to free them.
10. Lonny (David Dastmalchian) — The Wild Card
Bud’s work partner Lonny seems like he might be a bit unstable, emotionally speaking, but by this point in your tour of Belko's corridors that shouldn't come as a surprise. He's right there alongside Bud, trying to get the work done, but from the first moment we see Lonny there's a hint of something more tough and dark in his eyes than the gentle veneer that he probably shows around the building each day.
Who do you think will survive?
Find out when The Belko Experiment opens on March 17.