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In a sunken castle underneath the earth, five strangers wake. They have no food. No memory. No water. And no way out. They don't know it yet, but they're capable of something they never imagined. They must organize and band together for the sinister adventure that awaits them. Written by
Saw this in the festival circuit last year when it was titled 'The Gauntlet.' It's a little bit of Saw and a little bit of DaVinci Code.
Five strangers wake up in what seems to be a labyrinthine or underground castle with no memory of how they got there. Their relationships to one another are unknown, and the loyalties they form for survival are tenuous at best. Each level of this dungeon proves a grueling challenge where the price to move forward is often another person's life. Along the way, a sense of each person's past and a glimmer of their true character peeks through. In fact this is the more enjoyable aspect of the feature. I respected the internal life of these characters and learning who they were.
Meanwhile, blood, much blood, much death. Bai Ling (The Beautiful Country, The Crow) is fantastic as a disturbed and merciless survivalist. Though the least of the actors that needs to prove themselves on an ostensibly low-budget genre flick, Bai Ling goes for broke, covered in blood for basically the entire film. Another treat was the casting of Dustin Nguyen (The Rebel) whose performance is one of subtlety and dignity. The Gauntlet is what it is. It goes for broke and I had fun while it did.
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