Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom, 2001. Canal+, Cowboy Films, Film Council, Granada Film Productions, Impact Pictures, Pathé Pictures International. Screenplay by Ben Court, Caroline Ip, based on the novel After The Hole by Guy Burt. Cinematography by Denis Crossan. Produced by Jeremy Bolt, Lisa Bryer, Pippa Cross. Music by Clint Mansell. Production Design by Eve Stewart. Costume Design by Verity Hawkes. Film Editing by Niven Howie.
Thora Birch puts on a convincing British accent for this crafty little thriller, about a group of teenagers who decide to duck their private school’s weekend field trip by hiding out in an abandoned World War II bunker, telling their school that they’re going home (while their parents think they’re on the trip). Countless days later only Birch emerges, covered in dirt and completely shaken up, leaving authorities confused as to what’s happened to her in the days since she and her friends were reported missing. She gives her story to a kindly officer (Embeth Davidtz), implicating a school chum in having trapped her and her friends in the bunker, but as Davidtz continues to probe she discovers there’s more to the story than that. Unfortunately, the follow-through isn’t nearly as captivating as the set-up, making for a film that promises to be incredibly clever but ends up being a merely distracting collection of narrative sleights-of-hand. Still, unlike most American horror movies it isn’t gory, relies on characters instead of graphic visuals for stimulation, and features solid performances (including a pre-fame Keira Knightley).