DVD REVIEW: Underground

A group of friends fight for their lives against lethal and ravenous creatures lurking beneath the Earth’s surface. The group finds themselves at the mercy of creatures genetically engineered by the military to be expendable in battle. Though they fought countless battles in Iraq, these friends never knew real fear until they went underground. (Signature Entertainment)

The film starts with a team of troops sent into an underground base on an obvious search & destroy mission. It’s quite clear that they are operating with extreme prejudice to fight an unknown assailant that is by no means ordinary, and as a result the whole team is wiped out.

Two years later (a little incredulous in its brevity), this now presumably moth-balled facility is the scene of an illegal rave (illegal by the amount of pot & general hedonist activity on show!). A brief fight ensues between the a gang of armed thugs and our heroes (who transpire to be ex-Desert Storm/Special Forces soldiers & their girlfriends), which sees them being chased underground into the same bunker environment seen at the beginning. Sealing a heavy door behind them, the group find themselves lost in the dark with no mobile-phone signal and no light. They get a generator running for some limited power & lighting, but quickly get lost in the darkness trying to navigate their way out… and then fall foul of the creepy but lethal inhabitants who dwell within the abandoned base.

I won’t spoil the film but suffice it to say, the underground dwellers are the result of a military experiment to create expendable soldiers with hybrid DNA. Abandoned & forgotten by the military, they have turned to cannibalism in order to survive, and it’s quite a hell-hole our heroes have to survive.

The premise is quite decent, a concept that reminded me of a mix of C.H.U.D., Creep and The Descent, and the make-up effects are not too shabby at all – in fact, some of the set pieces are pretty good for what must have been a low production budget. The key problem (if any) with this film, is the darkness, which means you are struggling from time to time to determine what you are seeing. That said, it does help to capture the altogether claustrophobic feel of the movie, and there are plenty of jump/scare moments along the way. The ‘creatures’ themselves are pretty good, in so much as they are smart & organised, as opposed to mindless/driven by hunger. And as they are military trained, some of the fight sequences are surprising physical and choreographed.

For this type of “young people in peril at the hands of killers in a confined space” film, the cast of unknowns aren’t too bad and the dialogue isn’t too cheesy. Having them as ex-soldiers rather than dumb college students made a refreshing change, as they often tried to do the sensible thing like make weapons, strategize, and work as a team, etc.

As B-movies go, it’s pretty solid and worth a late night fright in!

Rating: 3/5

Source: Signature Entertainment

Reviewer: SilverFox

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