The Bunker Game (2022)

During an atomic war, a large group of survivors live in a sealed bunker underground.  But things are not what they seem.  It is revealed early in the film that the setting and even the survivors are all fake!  The whole setup is simply a L.A.R.P. If you’re unsure what this is, it stands for Live Action Role Playing, meaning people are pretending and acting, engaging with a fake setting and scenarios.  One actress working to give the players a real experience is Laura (Gaia Weiss).  When she’s not in character, she meets with Greg (Lorenzo Richelmy), the mastermind of the entire game.

One night, Laura meets with Greg and reveals that she’s pregnant.  The two also discuss the current game in motion, and Greg reveals that a big surprise is in store for all the players, including Laura.  He refuses to give any more details, but the game is interrupted when Laura returns to work.  Somehow, the power is mysteriously cut off, forcing the L.A.R.P to end, and the players are escorted to safety above ground.  But the actors and workers of the game are curious about what’s going on.

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To make matters worse, the staff discover that Greg is also missing.  A small group of people go looking for Greg, also trying to figure out how this role-playing adventure got interrupted.  But while looking around, Laura begins to believe there’s a ghostly presence underground with them that may be the cause of everything going wrong.  The question is, can our leads survive the night and escape above ground before it’s too late?

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The Bunker Game is a mixture of many genres, including thriller and horror.  It begins with an unusual time setting and situation.  The fact this world is fake isn’t a major spoiler or reveal as the actors and setting are obviously not real right from the start.  I had a sigh of relief when the film revealed its true self, as my first impressions were poor.

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The film has multiple characters, but the prime focus is on Laura.  The other characters are given little to no back story, meaning viewers have very little interest or care factor about their survival.  Laura’s biggest drawcard is her connection with the man in charge of the game, Greg.  But as a character, Greg isn’t likeable and seems overconfident, cocky and generally disconnected to Laura, even more so when she reveals her deepest secret to him.  Laura has the most determination to find the truth about Greg and the possible ghostly presence.  The mysterious plot was a minor strength that kept me invested. 

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Those seeking something fast-paced and quick should not look here.  Characters spend the majority of their time walking around with flashlights, going from room to room.  Sometimes they search in pairs, or in true horror cliche, they go look on their own, which results in predictable consequences. It’s a long wait for any major plot development to occur as well as any exciting or mysterious kills. 

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Visually, while the film is extremely dark for the majority, I enjoyed the dark look and tone. It certainly has the right style for this kind of film, and the potential of jump scares and creepiness should have worked wonderfully here as a film.  But it’s just too slow.  The scare factor isn’t here, jump scares are obvious, and the kills generally occur off-screen, again, attempting to be scary.

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Overall, while I love the concept of this film and enjoyed the dark, creepy visuals set design, as a horror, it doesn’t manage to deliver the scares or bring an exciting story to life.  It’s also insanely slow. It’s a long wait for any real plot development, or character kills to occur.  One major character and a mysterious plot outline attempt to carry the film, but sadly, it isn’t enough to win horror fans.  Surrounding characters are uninteresting, and the plot, for the most part, is dull, like watching fresh paint dry.  It’s a truly great concept, and I wish the end results were more epic and memorable. The Bunker Game (2022) Available on Shudder from 17th March!

2.5/10

Rating: 1 out of 5.

14th March 2022
Written by Peter Walkden

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Based on a true story, Midnight in the Switchgrass follows two Texan FBI agents, Karl (Bruce Willis) and his current partner Rebecca (Megan Fox).  The two agents are currently investigating a case relating to sex trafficking, and they are hoping to close the case...

Claw (2021)

Two friends, Julia (Chynna Walker) and Kyle (Richard Rennie) are on a road trip to get Julia to an important show she's featuring in (stand-up comedy).  Kyle is along for the ride to help drive and provide general support where possible.  But while driving,...

For the Sake of Vicious (2020)

Set on Halloween, the film introduces a hard-working nurse named Romina (Lora Burke).  After finishing a long shift, Romina goes straight home, but when she walks through her front door, she soon finds she’s not alone.  A stranger is hiding out in her house,...

Red Rocket (2021)

Mikey Saber (Simon Rex) travels by bus back to his hometown in Texas City with only $22 in his wallet.  Freshly arrived in town, he knocks on the door to his wife's house, Lexi (Bree Elrod), who lives with her mother.  Covered in bruises and scars resulting...

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) lives with her older brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) and her mother Callie (Carrie Coon). Daily, the family struggle to make ends meet and are even evicted from their current home. Soon the family receives word that Phoebe's grandfather has...

Apex (2021)

Set in the future, Thomas Malone (Bruce Willis) is currently in prison, serving a life sentence for a crime he was not involved in. Thomas is an ex-police officer and has a past resumé which makes him a human deadly weapon.  Invited to be the prey in a dangerous,...

The King’s Man (2021)

You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled across a rather twisted and regal version of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure when you first read the plot outline of "The Kings Man." A collection of history's very worst criminals and tyrants are plotting to wipe out...

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

Continuing on from The Matrix Revolutions (2003), we meet Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a well-known software developer. Known for developing many creative video games, Thomas feels lost and almost robotic as he completes his daily routines.  He begins to see...

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Set in San Fernando, 1973, Licorice Pizza follows the life of two young people- Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman), a celebrity superstar and Alana Kane (Alana Haim).  Gary is convinced that Alana is the love of his life, but there is just one problem.  His new...

Sing 2 (2021)

Following the original Sing (2016), Buster Moon (Voiced again by Matthew McConaughey) and his ragtag theatre troops are faced with a new and exciting challenge.   The challenge is unlike anything they've done before, to pursue a reclusive rock star named...

West Side Story (2021)

Based on the well-known Broadway musical (1957), West Side Story (2021) explores various themes and stories, including a dangerous rivalry between two street gangs of different ethnicity.  One gang calls themselves the Jets and the other the Sharks.  On the...

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Continuing from where we left Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his close friends in Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019), the entire world now knows the secret identity of Spider-Man.  Peter now spends his days dealing with the public, not to mention constant...

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)

Set in the year 1998, Umbrella Corporation has kept Raccoon City alive. However, things worsen for the high-tech pharmaceutical company when suspicion grows within the community.  Strange mishaps occur, including unusual deaths, and several dead bodies randomly...

Henchmen (2018)

Set in the near future, the film follows a young man named Lester (Thomas Middleditch), who has a heart and passion for becoming the ultimate henchman. But becoming a skilled henchman takes hard work and regular attendance at "Union of Evil", the school of...

Rose Plays Julie (2019)

Rose (Ann Skelly) thinks about her mother all the time. She wonders what kind of life she is living and what her mother is doing. She also thinks about what it would look like if the two were ever to meet face to face.  What kind of conversations would they have,...

Dune (2021)

Based on the well-known science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, Dune follows Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet), the son of a noble and well-respected family. Paul begins to have unexplained visions and dreams, which could be visions of moments from his future....

The Card Counter (2021)

Beginning with narration from William Tell (Oscar Isaac), we find out key details about this character's past.  Some of the important details include the fact William served a long time in prison and, while bored behind bars, he decided to learn and master the...

The Advent Calendar (2021)

Eva (Eugénie Derouand) has been a paraplegic since a tragic accident three years ago. Currently, Eva enjoys swimming as a hobby and gets by financially working for an insurance company.  When Eva’s birthday comes around close to Christmas time, it seems she will...

Ditched (2021)

Melina (Marika Sila), a paramedic, and a group of other people wake up in an upside-down ambulance.  Shocked and surprised, Melina and the other survivors attempt to recall what happened to cause the ambulance to flip and crash. Melina recalls she was in the...

The Tunnel: The Other Side of Darkness (2021)

When it comes to Australian cinema, it’s no secret that we’ve all seen films that are just another found footage movie. Thankfully, some films were quite successful, memorable, and different from the rest. One of them was a mockumentary, The Tunnel, which was released...

The Tunnel (2011)

Natasha (Bel Belia) has carefully assembled her team, which consists of Peter (Andy Rodoreda), Steve (Steve Miller) and Tangles (Luke Arnold).  This group of journalists are investigating several government cover-ups relating to water, homelessness, history, and...

Titane (2021)

To describe this film’s plot in writing is one of the biggest challenges I have come across as a film reviewer. Titane begins with moments that are either tragic or uncomfortable.  None of these moments quite make sense and are unexplainable and bizarre....

Battle Drone (2018)

The film begins with the introduction of six highly skilled mercenaries. After completing another successful mission, the CIA approaches the group’s captain, Vincent Reikker (Louis Mandylor), with another job requiring him to reassemble the team and fly out to...

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Continuing on from Venom (2018), Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a host for the alien symbiote known as Venom. In the present day, Eddie is determined to get his life back on track.  Right now, he’s known for being a failed reporter, currently single and struggling to...

The Browning Version (1994)

After teaching for over eighteen years, Andrew Crocker-Harris (Albert Finney) is wrapping up his final days. His wife Laura (Greta Scacchi) will also be retiring after serving fifteen years.  When the school’s headmaster reveals to the students that Mr Andrew...

Best Sellers (2021)

Harris Shaw (Michael Caine) is an exhausted and angry old author who has since retired from writing. He lives his days trying to write on his typewriter while drinking alcohol and smoking heavily. Harris has decided to hide from the rest of the world, putting signs on...

Blue Bayou (2021)

Set in Louisiana, the film follows a Korean-American man named Antonio (Justin Chon).  Antonio lives with his partner Kathy (Alicia Vikander), who is currently pregnant, and his step-daughter Jessie (Sydney Kowalske). Right at the start of the film, we learn that...

Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)

Max Mercer is a 10-year old who has desires to get some quiet time away from his family. His wish is granted by mistake when Max is left home alone after his family fly out to Tokyo. On the flip side, we are also introduced to a married couple named Rob (Jeff...