Set in 1944, Belgium German border. A squad of German troops seek refuge in a bunker, from an advancing American force. Bolting themselves in they find the current resident guards troubled by an ancient story regarding the site of the bunker. The elder of the guards tells the tale of plague victims taken out of town by a priest who promised help, but brutally slaughtered and buried them all in a communal grave. They shrug this off, but it’s easy to see that something is on their minds and something is lurking below in the tunnels of the bunker. Apparently, also based on a true story.
The movie is very nicely filmed with unusual camera angles and some atmospheric choreography. The cast are great, showing some fine British talent; Jack Davenport, Jason Flemyng, Andrew Tiernan, Andrew Lee Potts and Charley Boorman are just a few that really stand out. But credit must go to the script by Clive Dawson and Direction by Rob Green (who strangly hasn’t made anything since, although i hear he’s been offered Dog Solders 2) who have created this fine film. It’s basic at ground level, but has left me questioning many of the sequences and structure which will probably lead to a second viewing.
The undercurrent theme is based around dissolution and desertion of the army with the soldiers witnessing and committing some terrible atrocities during the war. Whilst in the bunker, the closeness makes each one question their own conscience and takes them all to their own hell. There is a great revelation during the last few scenes of the film, but I’ve noticed a few other subtle things going on. Do all character at some point during the piece rebel against their authority, deserting the very cause? Has this entity in the bunker encouraged a reversal of each soldier’s actions previous?
Enjoyable and atmospheric.