By Claire Mitchell (Devon, UK)
This film is about a young lady who has a car crash, awakes to find herself in an underground bunker by two men. Rather than a film it is more like an assessment of analytical thinking with regards to the psychology of each character and how they fit into the manipulated story line which allows you to make lots of assumptions. The three characters are; Michelle, Howard and Emmett. Michelle is the young lady who is rescued from the car crash; but the film manipulates you into thinking she has been held hostage. Michelle is a young fit confident woman who appears intelligent. Michelle attempts several escapes and makes a biochemical alien suit from her textiles experience and acquired book intelligence that surrounds her. However, Michelle also lacks intelligence within patience and observations skills which makes her spontaneous and the causer of conflicts and loss of life.
Emmett is a young lad who appears confused and disorientated possibly due to fear of the outside situation and losing his life but is thoughtful, compassionate and wants an easy going life. It is sad when you see a train ticket in his wallet after he has been killed. The film once again allows you to make assumptions into thinking he too was abducted. Emmett had insisted in the film he asked Howard to join the bunker on his own free will. Howard is a very intelligent ex-military man whose skills are clearly represented in his well thought out bunker but lacks simple social intelligence of which is identified. His lack of empathy could be seen as a psychopath with Asperger’s but life experiences can cause the same traits. But this is where the film grabs you by cross examining the characters with the manipulation of assumptions made.
I left the film asking myself if Michelle, “Had made the right choice by trying to escape the bunker?” Of which when she did she found out that there was truth in Howards interpretation of the nuclear attack outside which was from an alien spacecraft. Michelle gets into a car and turns on the radio and makes her way to safety but does a U-turn when help is asked in specialist areas to aid others, of which Michelle has limited experience in. I found myself looking up on the internet other people’s thoughts on the series of events. One surprising comment made about the film being based on domestic violence. I felt once again these were based on assumptions rather than facts. Assumptions being Howard must have been a killer, an abuser due to having a photo with a young girl who had gone missing.
This was an assumption as there was no proof that actually occurred. It was also noted that Howard was controlling due to his protective manor over Michelle. I disagreed with these comments. I felt that interpretations were formed on assumptions rather than facts and judgements of character were made. Being Howard was ex-military and obviously very skilled. I would assume with this job he would be quite traditional, suffered trauma and taught to kill if in danger. An example of this is when he finds Emmett with some scissors and chooses to kill him, similar to what you would expect in war conditions. And although, he is seen as less lenient towards Michelle it ends with Howard trying to kill her and that it is a build of anxiety that makes these decisions to kill. Quick, sharp decision.
It is Michelle who causes the loss of two lives but is seen as the hero by making a U-turn to help others. In my eyes she could be a burden due to her spontaneous through process and lack of thought into Howard’s personality. That is recognising there was a difference in his intelligenc, but working against him rather than with him. This would have increased his anxieties. Howard’s military background was based on protecting and staying alive, of which he did do well. It was the personality conflicts that let him down which would have been the result of his low social intelligence because his death was the result of others. This is what fascinated me about the film, interpretations not the science fiction part of aliens being included. Multiple intelligences and team work of which Howard quotes. Howard’s intelligent created the bunker, rescuing, Emmett’s kind for taking the blame and Michelle is small and technical, able to fix things. Michelle lacked team work. Moral of the film ‘pay attention’. Very clever.