After several mysterious accidents, A Live Action Role Playing game is interrupted and the players leave the bunker while the staff remains behind to investigate the disappearance of Greg, the mastermind of the game.

Editing: Brian Schmitt
Umberto Smerilli

Cast: Gaia Weiss, Lorenzo Richelmy, Mark Ryder, Tudor Istodor, Makita Samba, Amina Smail

Directors: Roberto Zazazara
Writers: Manuela Cacciamani (story & creative producer), Francesca Forristal (screenplay), Davide Orsini (screenplay & story), Kt Roberts (screenplay), Roberto Zazzara (screenplay & story)
Cinematography: Marco Graziaplena

The Bunker Game takes the typical haunted house scenario and moves into a Nazi bunker with a group of LARPers (live-action role players). The set-up is as good as it sounds, and for the first ten to fifteen minutes, I was utterly intrigued to see where The Bunker Game would go next. Disappointingly, this movie fell apart very quickly, and I was left with nothing but the dream of fulfilling the premise I was initially given. 

The background setting to The Bunker Game is more interesting than the film itself. A LARP played in an old Nazi bunker plays out a ‘what if’ scenario with America bombing Germany, making the surface uninhabitable. The Nazis begin weird experiments in the bunker, while some move to strike against the regime from the inside. But what happens instead? An accident occurs, and all but the LARP group leaders abandon the bunker, cancelling the game. My hopes and dreams of seeing someone move between the shadows of reality and fiction of this LARP in the dust. 

The core cast left in the bunker is dull when not playing in the 1940s. The sub-plot with the lead, Laura (Gaia Weiss), cheating on her boyfriend with the Game Master, Gregorio (Lorenzo Richelmy), is unnecessary at best and wasted at worst; especially when the core plot of The Bunker is the cast being trapped in the bunker and left searching for Gregorio, whom they assume to be playing a sick prank. 

For the good part of the film’s first-hour director Roberto Zazzara attempts to create friction and history between those in the bunker, but they’re just not interesting or well-written enough to sustain a drawn-out thriller. By the time characters finally start to die, it’s a sigh of relief. 

Zazzara and director of photography, Marco Graziaplena, create angles of hopelessness amongst the never-ending hallways of the bunker. The film is shot well, and the way the production uses the one setting is commendable. But it can’t make up for issues with the script and the direction for the actors. 

The Bunker Game has a great setting, and it’s a superb idea for a horror film and one I’d be happy for Zazzara to return to down the line, but this film is dull; it lacks interesting characters, direction and even scares.