Directed by Rafael Eisenman
Written by Charles Morris Jr.
Returning to USA after a tour of duty in Iraq, soldiers Matt (Jeff D’Agostino) and Storm (Adrian R’Mante) party out with Matt’s girlfriend and mates at a rave held at a disused military base. When an arguement erupts with a bunch of weapon wielding thugs, the group escape and seek solace in an old underground bunker. Realising that they’ve accidentally locked the door, the group must find a second exit but it soon becomes apparent that they’re not the only ones down there…
Underground is an interesting film because from the very beginning we get a peek of what’s lurking inside the underground bunker. From the carnage that follows, we know it’s something not even the armed military can deal with, so when a group of unarmed revellers accidentally find themselves in their lair, we know there’s going to be a struggle from beginning to end.
Out of the group of eight characters, we only really get to know three of them properly and therefore they are the ones that are the most likable in the film. Matt is the courageous ex-soldier who saved his buddy Storm during an explosion whilst they were serving in Iraq. Doctor Mira (Sofia Pernas) treated his wounds at the hospital and it is there where they hooked up and these two characters become our main love-struck heroes. Our ‘action hero’ of sorts is Storm, who has a fiery temper when provoked and is one cowboy not to be messed with. These three characters hold the story together whilst the rest become background fodder to be shredded, teared and ripped apart by the super-strong mutants dwelling within the bunker.
Whilst the film has enjoyable parts, there are quite a few scenes which drag and have little to keep you engaged. The are many ‘gory’ scenes, but mostly the actual attacks are not shown. Instead, we are left with shots of the resulting injuries to the characters, which are pleasingly gruesome. The creatures themselves look reasonably intimidating in their prosthetic make-up and I admired how the actors playing them are skilled freerunners, making the creatures movements something fun to behold. This isn’t just some far out, over the top irrelevant skill for the creatures though, as the viewer finds out as the story progresses. There’s a logical (in movie terms) explanation as to what these creatures are and I was impressed to find a low budget flick such as this would explore the concept. This revelation redeemed certain aspects of the film that were weak.
Creating a film where almost all the action takes place in an underground bunker works for films such as this, who’s main target is create tension and the feeling of being trapped and claustrophobic. We know these characters cannot simply escape and we find ourselves trying to second guess when, if and how the monsters will reveal themselves and attack their prey. Despite the weak story-driven tension, due to the characters quickly reaching temporary ‘safe havens’, the lack of light and the grungy interiors make for an unsettling watch.
Whilst this isn’t the most exciting movie out there, it’s certainly not the worst and with its creature-stalking script, Underground is an enjoyably average horror flick perfect to watch with your mates and a few beers on a Saturday night.