19 January 2019

Review: Urban Explorers (2011)

Andy Fetscher's Urban Explorers has been described as "The Descent meets Creep" (Frightfest), but while this description emphasises the underground location of this dark tale a more accurate one would seem to be "The Descent meets Wolf Creek" (just substitute the Australian outback for underground Berlin).

When a group of four tourists hire a guide to take them on an illegal tour of Berlin's abandoned underground World War II bunker system you know from the start that all is unlikely to go well.

After a trip deep into the bowels of underground Berlin our hapless party's guide is injured and incapacitated after falling down a shaft. The remaining four split into two groups, one to look for help and the other to stay with their injured guide. Seemingly by chance a mysterious vagrant by the name of Armin (Klaus Stiglmeier) appears and offers to help and after loading the guide onto a stretcher they set off to find his underground abode.

However, as you can expect, help isn't really what Armin is offering. What follows involves dismemberment, torture and unwitting cannibalism - not the kind of night out our explorers were expecting.

Anyone who has seen Wolf Creek will soon be able to see where the plot is heading when our explorers start their lengthy journey through the underground following Armin's flashlight. Urban Explorers even has its own derivative of Wolf Creek's 'head on a stick' - but I won't spoil it by going into detail here.

While Urban Explorers is extremely derivative, where it really excels is in its setting. Fans of underground horrors such as DeathlineCreep and The Descent will certainly enjoy Urban Explorers' claustrophobic underground cat and mouse games. There are some genuinely unsettling moments and the film is a competent and entertaining genre offering.
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