There’s nothing better than sitting down with a twisty little indie thriller with original ideas and a fun sense of mystery. Movie like Christopher Nolan’s Memento, Shane Carruth’s Primer, and Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin are all films that captivated me from the first frame and that I have gone on to show countless people since. Another favorite is Richard Schenkman’s The Man from Earth in 2007. That film was just a group of great character actors in one room for 90 minutes and it was wholly engaging. The producer of The Man from Earth is back this month with a new movie that hits many of the same markers of a great indie thriller called Subterranea.
An unnamed man (Bug Hall) is released into the world after being contained in a dark cell for his entire life, never seeing daylight or another human being. Once he enters society he must learn from scratch how to interact with other people with some help from a streetwise vagrant (Nicholas Turturro). In his search for answers he discovers he is part of an elaborate social experiment devised by a man known as the Provider (William Katt). Determined to find out the whole truth and his own personal reason for living, the man must question his own existence and find a place for himself in his new reality.
Subterranea is almost a social experiment in itself much like the life of the man in the story of the film. All aspects of our daily lives, most of which we take for granted and don’t even think about, are questioned in this tale of someone who has never had anything. It is very interesting to see how someone would possibly approach our world without knowing anything of it. The cast are great here lead by Bug Hall, who oddly enough was Alfalfa in the 1994 movie The Little Rascals, the always underrated William Katt from The Greatest American Hero and the aforementioned The Man from Earth, and Nicholas Turturro, whom you have seen in everything from Spike Lee films to Blue Bloods. Subterranea is a great film to not only entertain but to make you think and reexamine our own lives. And that is a great thing to get out of a film. Recommended.