Fantastic Fest 2015 Review: DER BUNKER

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)

It wouldn’t  be a Fantastic Fest without a bizarre entry or two, and this import from Germany definitely fits this description.  A young student (Pit Bukowski)  in search of a quiet residence to continue his work moves in with an unusual, isolated family living in the wood in an old bunker.  The husband (David Sheller) and wife (Oona Von Maydell) implore the student to tutor their man-child son Klaus (Daniel Fripan), as they have overly-ambitious desires for his future.  As the student becomes better acquainted with the family, more peculiar revelations come to light.

Written and directed by Nikias Chryssos, Der Bunker is a surreal portrait of a outlandish family of Lynchian (as in David Lynch) proportions.  Because of its absurdity and eccentricities, the film is quite entertaining and amusing, but ultimately unsatisfying.  If Chryssos has a point to make with his story and characters, it definitely becomes muddled with his desire to be absolutely strange and inexplicable.  Nevertheless, his fascinating characters and crazy scenarios indicate a wild and creative mind at work, but one that perhaps needs more focus.

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