Monday, December 21, 2009

Blizzard Cinema: Subterano (2003)

I DVD'd this one blindly because it sounded like it had a cool premise. A group of people are forced to play a real life-or-death video game in large underground garage. Sounds like it could be fun, right? Well it wasn't.

The film takes place in the future where an evil government leads an uber-capitalistic society. The son of a goverment bigwig, who is also a boy genius, tricks a group of people into an underground garage to play a realistic version of a virtual reality he created called Subterano. One of the unwilling players is the only actor I recognized, Alex Dimitriades from Ghost Ship. He led a terrorist group attack against the evil government but was captured in the act. His escape in the very beginning of this flick leads him to his girlfriend and into the aforementioned underground garage with a bunch of throwaway characters. Once they are forced into playing the game, we find out the characters' main antagonists are remote-controlled toys. Yup. Killer remote-controlled toys. Boy did I feel a little duped when this was revealed and it turned me off the rest of the film. This was bad considering that the film had a slow start and I hoped things would pick up once the action began.

This Australian-made production was made in conjunction with Showtime pictures...and you could tell. The production levels are decent enough, but the story is a bit disjointed in the beginning and the film itself was annoyingly predictable. Another problem is that this film is listed as a Horror/SciFi and boasts a Cube feel (even the endings seem the same), but the latter is a far superior film. Speaking of the ending, the last shot is unintentionally funny. And a horror film should have an on-screen death less than 50 minutes into a film with a running time of 100 minutes.

I would not recommend it unless you are way into virtual reality video games and a sci-fi lover. It's ambitious (fail) with too much backstory for a film about people playing in a life or death video game. All of the characters' subplots thrown in should not take away from the fact that this is what the film is really all about.


Carl (ILHM) said...

Excellent idea, boring execution, I was hoping for a lot more out of this one too homeslice

a said...

hahaha "Well it wasn't." Love your flat-out honesty.

Geof said...

Carl - how can you not make this idea fun, ya know? Remember that segment in "Nightmares" with Emilio Estevez getting sucked into that video game? I thought it was going to be something cool like that. No. Instead it was FAIL.

Allison - I'm glad you appreciate the honesty. This was lame. I even had treasure while I watched this film and it was still no fun.

Carl (ILHM) said...

Yeah, it was the anti-NIGHTMARES. It was FAIL with a capital WTF?!!?Ww

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