Main cast: Jason Flemyng (Cpl. Josef Baumann), Andrew Tiernan (Cpl Ernst Schenke), Christopher Fairbank (Sgt Hans Heydrich), Simon Kunz (Lt Michael Krupp), Andrew-Lee Potts (Pvt Lorenz Neumann), John Carlisle (Pvt Conrad Mirus), Eddie Marsan (Pfc Rudolph Kreuzmann), Jack Davenport (Cpl Reinhardt Ebert), Charley Boorman (Pfc Oliver Franke), and Nicholas Hamnett (Pvt Hugo Engels)
Director: Rob Green
Oh, just what we all need. Another horror movie set in a bunker during World War 2. But at least this one has Nazis in the spotlight!
Actually, if one weren’t paying attention, it would be somewhat easy to miss out on at first that our guys in this movie are German Panzergrenadiers fleeing after the rest of their platoon had been wiped out by American soldiers. This is because these “Germans” all speak with various British accents. Yes, all of them.
I know, The Bunker is a cheap indie movie, and I only caught in on cable TV when there was nothing else to watch, so maybe it’s to be expected that things aren’t quite… together… in this movie.
Basically, we have these guys – who are generally nondescript except for Beumann (“the surly one”), Schenke (“the crazy one”), and Krupp (“the boss”) – finding a bunker manned only by Mirus (“the old guy”) and Neumann (“the newbie”). Mirus warns them that there is an underground network of tunnels that have long been sealed off due to, according to mirus, ghosts and worse. They shouldn’t go in there, but of course they end up doing just that anyway. It isn’t long before paranoia sets in, from wondering whether those American soldiers have found their way in to our guys using those tunnels to whether there are traitors among their own ranks. It’s a good thing that they all have guns they can use to defend themselves, right?
One thing this movie has going for it: it manages to weave a claustrophobic atmosphere very well in this movie. The tunnels are dark, grim, and creepy. Still, the main characters are all cardboard stereotypes and for a long time, they all look like interchangeable goons. By the time a few of them shape up to be stereotypical archetypes of horror movies, it’s by default as the other characters have died off by then. It also doesn’t help that the movie takes it time to reveal details of the team only late in the movie, and really, by that time, it’s too late for me to start caring.
Ultimately, this one only has atmosphere done well. It’s still a movie about cardboard-thin characters wandering around in dark tunnels, and a forgettable one at that.