Receiving its UK premier at FrightFest this year Urban Explorer can be summed up in one line – Creep meets The Descent under Berlin. Hold on make that two lines the other being – It’s a load of crap.
Opening like an advert for spot cream or a Euro dance video we are introduced to our international cast of clichés who have hired a local guide named Kris to show them the secret hidden underground world which lies beneath Berlin.
Starting their journey in a techno club they quickly descend away from the noise and light into the cavernous maze of escape tunnels and subterranean fortifications that lie under the great city in search of a Nazi war room which Kris promises the group has been fully preserved and never seen by the public.
Things inevitably go wrong when Kris falls from a beam and badly injures himself leaving the gang of rookie explorers with a disastrous dilemma whether to split up and try and find help and risk getting lost or stay together and leave Kris alone to die.
Picking the former they divide and head off deeper into the dungeon like tunnels to find Kris some help however what they believe to be the lesser of two evils in fact leads them into the hands of the most terrifying and twisted thing inhabiting the Berlin tunnels and he’s hungry for new victims.
Made by German-Romanian director Andy Fetscher the most disappointing and annoying thing about Urban Explorer is surprisingly not its name but that after the terrible and cheesy opening the story and setting actually shows a modicum of promise.
Deliberately misleading the audience with tales of Nazi mutants, appearances from skin head thugs and perilous and petrifying real life locations which are truly creepy and dangerous you feel the film could go anywhere from a simple survival story to a tale of the supernatural.
Sadly and frustratingly however it just becomes another mad old psychopath movie with a strong side order of torture porn. This coupled with the characters that aren’t fully developed in the first place means that as soon as Klaus Stiglmeier’s Armin turns up you not only know exactly what’s going to happen in the rest of the film but you couldn’t really care less.
Bad music and some bad acting added to the unoriginality of the second act and the tragedy of a wonderful location wasted all combine to make Urban Explorer a boring and gratuitously brutal horror with very little to recommend about it.
My advice to Fetscher is to call up Hollywood and remake this movie with some half-descent actors keeping the location but rewriting the story to create something more original and interesting out of what he already has.
Sadly knowing the US audiences and studios however they would probably prefer the original.