First-time director Dan Trachtenberg delivers a claustrophobically compelling psychological horror-mystery – that is arguably the biggest movie surprise of the year so far.
Trachtenberg is best known for a film ‘short’ based on iconic video game Portal and Abrams backs him here on production duties.
Waking up from a violent car crash, young New Orleans’ woman Michelle, played by Elizabeth Winstead (The Thing and Die Hard 4.0) – escaping a break-up with her boyfriend (voiced by Bradley Cooper via phone) – finds herself in the basement of ex-Navy man Howard (Roseanne veteran John Goodman), who says he’s saved her life from a chemical attack that’s left the outside world uninhabitable.
He states that the world above them is a ‘danger zone’ that threatens humanity, and she has to work out whether he’s a psycho with a hidden agenda for her – or is it really ‘hell on Earth’ above ground like he claims.
Another person, John Gallagher Jr’s Emmett – who reportedly helped the seemingly unhinged Howard build the ‘Fallout-esque’ bunker which they inhabit – is also thrown into the mix as the three of them try to weigh each other up.
So has there been a nuclear explosion? Has there been an alien attack? Or is it all a tall story to feed Howard’s own fantasy?
Suffice to say this is cracking stuff that is only slightly hampered by some pacing issues and a few plot holes that prevents it from true greatness.
But with originality oozing from every pore – it isn’t far off it…
Gavin Miller [youtube id=”yQy-ANhnUpE)” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Cast: John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr & The Voice Of Bradley Cooper
Running Time: 1 Hr 43 Mins
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
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