Dead Herrings

Currently reflecting on a particular narrative choice made in The Belko Experiment, and can't decide how I feel about it. So maybe you can help, dear reader.

In Belko, a mysterious voice orders the various office drones employed by Belko Industries to off each other or face dire consequences. When these ordinary people understandably balk at this bizarre order, the voice demonstrates the power it holds over them by detonating explosives implanted in each employee's head--implants they agreed to when they took their positions with Belko, thinking they were tracking devices to be used in the event of their kidnapping. The voice also uses the explosive implants to prevent employees from removing cameras or from hanging banners from the roof asking for help. As a plot device, the explosives are highly necessary, as they provide an incentive for these otherwise normal people to murder their fellows.

Except there's one employee who doesn't have an implant.

Early on, we meet Dany Wilkins. It's her first day at Belko, a narrative device in and of itself--a way for other characters to deliver the exposition the audience needs by explaining things to the newbie. In her on-boarding meeting, co-worker Vince explains the tracking implants and tells her to make an appointment to get one.

Out of 80 people in the building, Dany is the only one who DOESN'T have an implant and isn't beholden to the instructions of the voice. She can disobey his commands at will, and not have to worry about getting her head blown up from the inside. 

Except she doesn't.

The movie positions Dany as a potential final girl, and then unceremoniously offs her. Dany's trackerless status is never brought up. It never matters. Instead we get a bit of a deus tech machina from good guy Mike Milch (after he beats the COO to death with a tape dispenser to become the last Belkite standing*). 

So is Dany's lack of tracker meant to be a red herring, a clue to confuse us and make us think she's the survivor? Or is it more of a dead herring--a plot point that gets dropped later in the narrative?

I'd argue it's more of the later, as her trackerless status isn't engaged with--less a misdirection than a dead end. If she'd been sent on a mission only she could accomplish, only to get dispatched in the elevator, I think her arc would have worked better for me. Making something matter, making someone matter, and then having them fail? That's so much more of a dagger to the heart.

*Bonus rant: wouldn't this have been an even better movie without the guns? Imagine if all the employees had been forced to kill each other with whatever they could find around the office. The movie would have been that much more gleefully gruesome. The gun cabinet made things way too easy.