After being involved in a car crash, “Michelle” (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up in a basement, needle in her arm attached to a saline drip and leg shackled to a pipe.
The start of another “Saw” gore porn movie or something quite different?
When “Harold” (John Goodman) opens the door and explains he is attempting to help her recover. He gradually allows her access to the larger bunker living room and kitchen, maybe all is well?
“Michelle” also gets to meet the only other occupant “Emmett” (John Gallagher Jr.) and the eclectic family over time sort of get on, despite Harold’s occasional fits of rage.
Why are they there, what are they hiding from? Are they hiding from anything at all or worst of all, is the real monster already in the bunker with them?
These are believable characters, Goodman’s recent penchant for playing against type is paying off, he totally sells his character and receives sterling support from Winstead. One minute terrified and the next, “meh”, maybe everything really is not so bad.
The film plays like a game of cat and mouse with few on screen characters and an almost static set location. Scary in parts with a few jump scares, flirting with horror but overall “thriller” is a better genre fit.
The film taps into our fears of what to believe. Humans tend to accept the reality we are presented with, would we challenge what is being said. Is it dangerous to go outside, would we potentially die just to prove someone was telling the truth or lies?
Or knowing the human psyche, would you ultimately not rock the boat and go along to get along?
To say too much would be to spoil any plot twists, the film itself arrived under the radar and represents a loose sequel to J.J. Abram’s “Cloverfield” with a third movie out later in 2017.
Director Dan Trachtenberg keeps the plot humming long, ratcheting up the tension where required. Arguably somewhat hampered by the required ending, which may divide audiences somewhat but when the journey has been this fun/exciting, the destination is not so important.
A film where you are not really sure what is really going on, which is half the fun of watching.
Not a horror but thrilling, a bit scary and well worth a look even for those with relatively low fright thresholds.