Trapped in the basement of their apartment building by a nuclear attack that destroys New York, a small group of survivors – terrified of both radiation sickness and heavily-armed troops – are temporarily safe but also entombed. Cooperative group dynamics quickly break down, as naked self-interest and primitive instincts surface.
The building’s supervisor, paranoid survivalist Mickey (Michael Biehn), holds the keys to the group’s dwindling supplies of food and water. But neither he nor smart, sassy Eva (Lauren German from ‘Hostel: Part II’) can control the group’s two violent dominant males, who signal their lust for power by turning fading beauty Marilyn (Rosanna Arquette) into their sex slave. If hell is other people, then this is the survivors’ subterranean pit of torment.
Shot chronologically, in the hope that its semi-improvised relationships and psychological conflicts would develop organically, this grim, apocalyptic parable will split audiences down the middle. Its nihilism feels cynical rather than authentically bleak, and the increasingly histrionic scenes start to resemble an indulgent actors’ workshop that has spun out of control.