It is actually refreshing when a horror movie, presents stunning cinematography of opening moments, with lush beautiful scenery, however that’s where the scenic moments tend to fall off for director Hiroshi Katagiri with this his first feature debut. He wrote the screenplay with the assistance of Nathan Long (Guyver: Dark Hero )) and Brad Palmer (Blood Redd )) all on the budget reported less than $250,000, and still achieved distribution from Uncork’d Entertainment.
The story starts with a real estate development company planning to create a new award winning 5-star luxury resort on a remote tropical island, the team of representatives tour a large portion of land to see if it meets their needs. It is here we the audience get a quick introduction to all involved Paulina (Eva Swan), her architect Tyler (Justin Gordon) along with photographer David (Matthew Edward Hegstrom) also accompanying them is real estate agent Alan (Simon Phillips (Airborne )) and his assistant Pepe (Sean Sprawling). One should note, that Lance Henriksen (Harbinger Down )) who portrays Morgan phones in his role, his voice on a phone call, wanting more results, is already informed of the stunning landscape and visual aspects. Quickly into the tour the group stumble upon a WWII bunker, but instead of ignoring it, they decide it might cause problems, from a structural standpoint to a historical impact, hence an investigation, and inside exists the horror. The location, reveals it’s on ancient burial grounds, (we all know what that means), soon the group starts wandering the corridors, and become trapped underground, they see rotten corpses and a creepy old man (Doug Jones (Patient Seven )), in almost skeleton form, lunging for the living in desperation. Suddenly, they experience a time shift, leading to tiresome amount of repetition, with a few highlights, such as a Japanese (Masashi Odate (Choker )) who commits hara-kiri (*1). However, Swan, carries the emotional banner, as the group struggles with their sins driving them into a downward spiral of madness, surrounded by a supernatural curse, sadly much of becomes lost as the films works more on the background than the scares.
While it’s true that darkness breeds uncertainty and dread, rising the fear rate for the viewers the same goes too much darkness, making a negative issue the audience struggles to actually understand what’s occurring on the screen. As the movie focuses on life in the bunker, and radios chirp but the lack of shelling occurs, no shaking, or shift sands falling from above, all working on a claustrophobic situation of turmoil, thereby losing any suspense and tension for mounting frights. The camerawork, quite basic setups, nothing of an inverted camera, it just becomes very mundane although a deeper problem the connection lacking between the characters translating to the interest for the viewer actually caring about them. One needs motivation to care not only about the story but the characters, one to root for, sadly it plods through the darkness.
This horror flick, is truly a basic design and style, the pacing slightly off, however if you only seek entertainment then you’ll likely enjoy some of the time-wasting that occurs. Just note the checklist, ancient burial ground, time loops, average acting, generic formula, and you achieve a lackluster horror movie.
(*1) ritual suicide by disembowelment with a sword.
IMDb Rating: 5.0/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10