With some movies, there’s nowhere to go but down. “The Experiment” is one such experience, when, after the first few minutes of cozy hopefulness (a loving couple discussing a trip to India and how to finance it), darkness closes in, smothering the senses like a polyester blanket. Oxygen, please!

Actually, the distributors should hand out comfort goods and iron supplements at the door, because the movie sure as hell ain’t going to cut the viewer any slack. Based on a real-life Stanford University experiment conducted in 1971, and adapted into a film by Germany’s Oliver Hirschbiegel (“Das Experiment”) in 2001, “The Experiment” isn’t really a remake so much as a reinterpretation of what exactly happened in that sunny Californian laboratory 40 years ago. The director this time is Paul Schuering, of hit TV series “Prison Break” fame — and here he concocts a queasy blend of rage, sadism and the emotional toll of excessive role-playing.

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