May 30, 2012

Urban Explorer (2012)

(Aka Dummkopfs!)
Release Date: On DVD & VOD now.
Country: Germany
Written by: Martin Thau
Directed by: Andy Fetscher
Starring: Nathalie Kelly, Nick Eversman and Klaus Stiglmeier.

This whole Urbex craze that's popular with the kids these days is beyond me; who really wants to go poking around through miles of subterranean tunnels that hold countless numbers of possible dangers and threats?

The Germans, that's who.
Urban Explorer deals with a bunch of young kids of different nationalities that decide to explore the sewers and catacombs underneath the city of Berlin, because that sounds pretty damn fun and exciting, doesn't it? Forget the fact that you could easily find yourself injured or lost while exploring a desolate subterranean tunnel system, because nothing can hurt you. You're young and invincible.

Pride cometh before the fall, fucko!
Our brave explorers hire a guide to, well, guide them through the tunnels, and lo-and-behold it isn't long before he gets injured, and the group has to split up to get him help. Luckily, a grizzled old kraut shows up out of nowhere and offers to help them if they will only follow him to his "safe place." Sounds legit to us.

From here on out, creepy Fritz dispatches the moron explorers in gruesome ways, and teaches them the ultimate lesson; when you do stupid shit, there is always a price to pay. In this case, the price is death. Creepy, underground, grizzled-German death!

His smile is not one of happiness or joy.
Urban Explorer is a solid effort in every way save for the script. The movie looks good, and the pace moves along nicely and doesn't drag much at all. It also offers up a good amount of intensity and creepy atmosphere, because dark tunnels kind of have that whole creepy thing going for them, don't they?

Since the gore is the strongest point of the movie, let's just go ahead and cover that now. This film definitely gets nasty and bloody, which is a good thing, because we needed something to make the lame plot tolerable.

Why she broke into song while getting her ear cut off, we will never know.
I know it's hard to come up with a premise that feels genuine and fresh, especially in Horror, and Urban Explorer is a decent movie, but it would have been better to me personally had the writers given us a plausible reason for these morons to descend into the dark and dangerous underworld of a massive city like Berlin. How about someone's dumb ass sister or girlfriend went into the catacombs to party, and never returned. A brother of boyfriend might be compelled to go look for her, even if it was a crazy bad idea, because love is like that. That same guy could have a friend or two who hate the idea of going down "there." but can't let him go alone, because all they need is another person they care about to go missing. Safety in numbers, right?

Urban Explorer made me come to terms with something I realized long ago, but had tried as hard as I could to suppress; most people in Horror movies are morons. I used to try to give the average Horror movie character some leeway, because maybe real people would act the way that they do in their movies. Groups of young, cocky, "nothing can touch me because I'm invincible!" teens and twenty-somethings always seem to do the absolutely most nonsensical things in Horror movies, just because. It's cheap.

So, how was your trip?
This is really the problem I have with so many Horror movies these days; they're insulting to my intelligence.  Film after film showcases dumb people who do incredibly dumb things, which get them into situations that make me hope that they die, just for being so stupid. I understand that most people don't go through life adjusting their actions or routines just in case a Horror movie breaks out at any minute, but it's an old trope/plot device that instantly makes a film feel tired, even if it's a good one.

It's almost as if filmmakers and studios just say "Meh, it's a Horror flick, this script will do" when they head off to make a new movie, and that's what pisses me off. The Horror genre is the most dynamic of all movie genres. in that Horror films often tend to encompass elements of all other genre's at once. Amidst the carnage and terror, there can be comedy and levity, romance can and often does play a part in the story, and there's always plenty of drama and mystery. The Horror Genre is limitless. I guess that's why I don't understand why so many Horror filmmakers limit themselves with so much cliche' and plot device.

Black Christmas?
Urban Explorer is a well made film that delivers on the tension and the gore, but falls short in the scripting department. Had the plot not been so paper thin and familiar, and had the characters not been so cookie-cutter, stupid, and simplistic, this could have been a far better film. As it stands though, Urban Explorer delivers the goods as long as the goods your looking for aren't originality or depth.


She's in this.

1 comment :

  1. You're awesome, man (Master). Keep it up!