Sunday, October 21, 2012


Directed By: Xavier Gens Written By: Karl Mueller & Eron Sheean Director Of Photography: Laurent Bares Editor: Carlo Rizzo Cast: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Courtney B. Vance, Ashton Holmes, Michael Eklund, Rosanna Arquette, Milo Ventimiglia, Jennifer Blanc Nuclear explosions force the residents of a New York apartment block to run from the building. However, the explosions force them into a basement. Eight residents are holed up in the building's bomb shelter. They must acclimatize to each other in difficult, cramped conditions No one comes out clean or is entirely clean. All the characters start out moral as film proceeds. The characters slowly are stripped of it. We see just how deep each gets into their own dark space. Rosanna arquette gives a brave performance. As a woman who loses all she holds dear. After she loses it all she cares about is pleasure and giving it to others. To take care of someone to replace what she has lost. The person she loves uses her and it slowly becomes torture and realizes too late that she is trapped. She becomes a tragic figure more than any of the other characters. The film could have been shorter by 10 – 20 minutes. We in the audience never get all the answers. There is a middle of the film sequence that makes it look like it will be a major plot thread of the film, but as quickly as it is introduced it is quickly dropped and we never get any explination. That actually leaves a sense of wonder to the film as it never spells anything out for you. The film starts out as a sci-fi film and then quickly develops into a character piece that gets increasingly claustrophobic though at first the space seems wondrous and spacious. It delves deep though provides enough thrills, suspense and surprises to keep the film from being boring as it could have easily become. As a survival tale about people stuck in a bunker after a post-apocalyptic meltdown. It’s pretty much predictable as to what is going to happen and where the story is going. The film actually manages to hit the points by going on a journey to each one that you don’t see coming. It sets a gritty mood that is filled with tension as the film goes on. Each of the actors make their characters that could have been one dimensional into full fledged believable ones. Most of the cast is made up of character actors. Who should definitely get more work. Especially Lauren German who is the defeated lead. She gives a performance that should put her on top of most casting director’s wish lists. Michael Biehn is nice to see as the surrogate leader of the group. This is definitely a film worth checking out. That shocks at how good it is. GRADE: B-

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