At the start of
Though they won't win any prizes for originality, writer Christian McDonald and director Peter Engert have fashioned a fairly involving, slow boil of a thriller that's as eerie as it is grim.
Nine people, mostly strangers, find themselves holed away in the basement of a rural Texas farmhouse in an attempt to fend off the deadly radiation poisoning. Over the course of 30 days, the group, which includes a resourceful medical student (C.J. Thomason), a sympathetic nurse (Monica Keena), a jumpy redneck (
Meanwhile, outside the farmhouse lurks a bunch of irradiated zombie-types that our group of nine — or what will remain of it — eventually will have to face.
Even if this largely contained movie remains more low key than frantic, it features enough well-executed bursts of tension and strong emotional beats to hold interest.
Unfortunately, we learn precious little about the main characters, and that limits our empathy for these so-called refugees. Still, Thomason does an especially fine job as the group's nominal leader, proving a unifying force for his cellar-mates as well as for the viewer.
MPAA rating: None
Running time: 1 hour, 32 minutes.