Monday, March 14, 2022

The Bunker Game (2022)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: The Bunker Game (2022)
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Eagle Pictures, Kador, Place du Marché, Shudder
Director: Roberto Zazzara
Writers: Manuela Cacciamani, Francesca Forristal, Davide Orsini, Kt Roberts, Roberto Zazzara
Actors: Gaia Weiss, Lorenzo Richelmy, Mark Ryder, Tudor Istodor, Makita Samba, Amina Smaïl, Nicolo Pasetti, Felice Jankell, Léa Rostain, Serena de Ferrari
IMDb Blurb: After several mysterious accidents, A Live Action Role Playing game is interrupted and the players leave the bunker while the staff remains behind to investigate the disappearance of Greg, the mastermind of the game.

Cat’s Point of View:
The trailer for The Bunker Game intrigued and excited me on many levels. I’ve been looking forward to watching this one since we first viewed the teaser in prep for the March 2022 Top 20 list. How much, you ask? Well, it landed within my Top 10 – albeit, at #9. Still, with everything releasing this month, that’s saying something.
The Bunker Game felt like it was bringing something fresh to the table. It lived up to that promise, as it brought a new twist to a classic horror genre.
There were points within the film that I thought I had things figured out. I was pretty certain what was about to happen – and then the story threw me a curveball. Some bits fell into place as expected, but the way events unfolded was quite satisfying.

Of course, part of what drew me into the story was the fact that it focused on a LARP event. Live-Action Role-Playing can be lots of fun. I’ve enjoyed a bit of it myself, in the past. It was fun to walk in someone else’s shoes for a while as I played a character. Given, I was playing a vampire, werewolf, or changeling fairy and not a Nazi. I’m a little worried that element of the tale might turn people off of the movie. It’s worth mentioning that this story does not glorify Nazis in any way. The story that the LARPers were playing out was an alternate reality scenario. Alas, that’s as much as I could clarify without giving spoilers. I digress…
Sometimes it’s possible for people in these situations to get too swept up in the story and forget themselves. The Bunker Game keeps you guessing as to whether or not that has happened or if there was something else going on.

It was intriguing to view this story through the lens of a documentarian. This seems to be the full-length fictional film debut for director Roberto Zazzara (Leonesse, Transumanza, Claustrophonia). His shorts seem to explore his desire to tell other stories. I’d have to say this foray into the realm of the fantastical has paid off for him so far. I’m interested in what he might do in the future, though it doesn’t look like English films are his usual medium.
I quite enjoyed the cast. They fit their roles well for the meta-like scenario of playing LARP actors. Gaia Weiss’ (Vikings, Overdrive, Meander) performance here has me convinced to watch another of her films that I’ve been ‘meaning to’ but hadn’t gotten around to yet.

Most of all – how cool is it that the production was able to film in an actual bunker network in Italy?! There was some real history there and the setting was absolutely perfect for this story. I’m not sure how much of the props and set dressing within the bunker were added for the movie, but the location was very real and not created on a sound stage.
Shudder has picked a good one with The Bunker Game. If you enjoy horror that’s lighter on the gore and heavier on the suspense and tension, you’ll want to check this one out.
The Bunker Game releases on Shudder on March 17th.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.8/10
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
Movie Trailer:

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