Genre : SF/Thriller
Country : USA/Germany
Lauren German : Eva
Michael Biehn : Mickey
Rosanna Arquette : Marilyn
Milo Ventimiglia : Josh
After a nuclear attack, seven dwellers of an apartment building seek refugee in a bunker in the basement of the building where the super, Mickey, lives. He rations water and supplies among the group formed by Eva and her boyfriend Sam; the gays Bobby and Josh and his brother Adrien; Marilyn and her daughter Wendi; and Delvin. When five invaders break into their shelter wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatuses, they abduct Wendi but the survivors succeed in killing two of the men. Josh wears the only clothing that was not damaged and discovers a strange research center where he finds Wendi contained in some kind of stasis device along with other children apparently collected by the unknown men in suits. He is discovered and ends up shoots at three men and returns to the shelter. Soon the group learns that the invaders have welded their access door from outside and they are trapped inside the bunker.
“The Day After” in a sealed bunker.
I thought this was an excellent psychological thriller. It was scary at times, but not as scary as a top horror movie. The way people react in a hopeless situation was scary. A survival of the fittest. The dominant individuals taking the reins. The weaker individuals crawling in a submissive position so that they see a chance to survive. Arquette played this behavior properly in this film. Beyond that, her contribution is simply nil. Formerly her joining a movie was a guarantee for some functionally nice nudity. In this movie she was usually strategically covered and so there remains, besides a few hysterical mood-swings, in terms of performances not much left.
It wasn’t exactly a SF either. Although the so-called North Koreans with futuristic bio-suits gave it a SF touch. The only implausible fact I could find was the speed in which the arrogant, sadistic and degrading behavior evolved in some characters. The movie doesn’t give any indication of the time frame that it evolved. Are they only a few days, some weeks or months locked up? The 2nd part is a claustrophobic spiral of senseless violence and a model of how individuals can grow into an over-dominant and dictatorial role within a closed community. The scenes are sometimes brutal and aggressive, but nothing is explicitly portrayed f.e. chopping the bodies into pieces. The two dominant bald heads really are a creepy display of two totally freaky guys.
However, the way Sam responded was beyond my comprehension. Would I witness how those two are terrorizing the whole group, use torture techniques in order to get a combination and abuse a woman until she drops dead, I surely would ensure that their brains were splashed against a wall if I could lay my hand on a weapon. Merciless.
My conclusion : an impressive and oppressive futuristic look at a chaotic struggle for survival.
My rating 6/10
Links : IMDB
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