Bunker (2023): The proceedings of war are so horrifying in themselves that artists have rarely looked towards the supernatural to showcase the dread and terror during the two World Wars. The abominable conditions in the trenches, the trauma due to the shellshock, and the mass carnage provide ample horrific material to elicit terror and dread. Despite this, screenwriter Michael Huntsman and director Adrian Langley set their war film Bunker (2023) within a paranormal setup to exacerbate the horrors felt by the soldiers during the period.

While not exactly riveting, the low-budgeted Bunker states a potent critique of war politics, allegorized as a supernatural threat. In this article, we examine the supernatural danger lurking in the film and the symbolism it entails. As usual, a SPOILER ALERT for the film!

Bunker (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Bunker begins at an English outpost led by Lieutenant Turner (Patrick Moltane) during World War I. Turner’s team includes Private Gray (Mike Mihm), Lance Corporal Walker (Adriano Gatto), and a young soldier, Lewis (Quinn Moran). Amidst an ongoing battle, an American Captain, Hall (Sean Cullen), brings two of his soldiers, Private Segura (Eddie Ramos) and Private Baker (Julian Feder), to assist Turner. Segura is a medic, having studied medicine before joining the war, while Baker is only an eighteen-year-old teenager.

As Lewis is keeping watch on the enemy’s outpost, he suddenly sees that all the German soldiers have seemingly absconded the premise. Turner suggests that they head over to the German outpost and take control. As they are crawling their way toward the outpost, Baker is attacked by a German soldier. Baker is left with no choice but to stab the man. As the English and American soldiers arrive at the outpost, they find a bunker sealed from the outside.

When they head inside, they find a German man (Luke Baines) crucified on a cross but still alive. Turner orders his soldiers to bring him down to question him. Just as the group is about to leave the bunker, a shell attack outside brings down heavy boulders and poisonous gas, killing Hall and Gray and injuring Walker. The remaining men are trapped inside the bunker—and soon realize that an evil presence lurks within the space and plans to drive them insane.

What Happens To The Soldiers Inside The Bunker?

As they are trapped inside, the soldiers begin to think of ways of getting out. Turner tries to get the German man to speak, but he remains mum. Turner further accords the laborious task of digging through the boulders to Segura, Baker, and the German man due to his prejudice towards Americans. Lewis is assigned to use the radio and contact the authorities for help.

Meanwhile, an injured Walker grows delusional and begins to cut himself, only to be stopped by his fellow soldiers. After a while, Walker gets up and stabs Lewis in the leg with a shovel. Before he can proceed further, his skin begins to peel off, and he vomits a white-sticky substance. The rest of the soldiers watch in horror as Lewis pulls a ghastly parasite-like organ out of his mouth before collapsing to his death.

Segura suddenly manages to contact the authorities on the radio and shares his coordinates with them. The authorities tell him to secure the German as he is their top priority. When Segura tries to talk about it, he is rebuffed and reminded of his subordinate ranking. When Segura informs Turner about his interaction with the authorities, an angry Turner reprimands him for using the radio since it is not his responsibility.

After witnessing the ordeal experienced by Walker, Lewis grows paranoid and begins to believe it to be the work of the devil. Similarly, Turner’s skepticism of Segura continues to grow, and he believes him to be an accomplice to the German man. Later, Lewis ends up drinking the white liquid dropping from above—the same one that Walker had vomited. Following this, a delusional Lewis holds Turner captive with a bomb.

Before Lewis can unpin the bomb, Baker stops him—causing it to explode. Lewis dies in the process, while Baker is severely injured. As Turner holds Lewis’s corpse in his arms, he is shocked to see that it has decomposed instantly. Horrified by this image, Turner believes it to be the work of the American soldiers and turns against them.

Who Is Kurt, and What Does He Explain About The Evil In The Bunker?

While the German prisoner in the bunker is initially reluctant to speak, he slowly begins to open up to Segura, who is writing a journal detailing his war experiences. He reveals his name to be Kurt and tells Segura that he was an orphan and had a difficult upbringing. Kurt also confronts Segura about fighting for the United States since the country’s racist politics does not include people of color like him.

After Lewis’s death, Segura goes to the radio to communicate and realizes that it was never connected in the first place—its only source of connection being the evil vines in the bunker. Hence, both Segura and Lewis had been talking to the evil entity all this while and not to the military authorities.

Segura forces Kurt at gunpoint to reveal the evil in the bunker. Kurt finally mentions that the evil in the bunker is the ‘Angel of War’—an ancient evil that needs conflict and horror to spread. Since war provides an avenue for conflict, this evil grows powerful and continues to consume whatever comes on this path.

Kurt further discloses that this evil Angel has chosen him to be its vessel for spreading. In the film’s flashbacks, we also see a young Kurt traveling in the woods and coming across the evil—which was likely when the Angel chose Kurt as its host. Hence, the evil voice used the radio to warn the soldiers to protect Kurt—as it was the evil’s primary vessel to spread itself.

Bunker (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:

How Does Segura Defeat The Angel of War?

Following Lewis’s death, Turner begins to go paranoid. As Kurt is explaining to Segura about the evil, we see Turner consuming the white liquid and letting himself be seduced by its powers. After a while, Turner holds Segura and Kurt at gunpoint, telling them that it was because of the Americans that he lost his entire troop. Turner ends up shooting Kurt in the belly, and a fight ensues between him and Segura. Turner overpowers Segura and knocks him down. Before Turner can escape, an injured Baker shoots him to death.

Segura attempts to heal Kurt, but Kurt suggests that he die so the evil might die with him. Segura, however, promises to be back for Kurt. Using a couple of tables, Segura climbs up the ceiling—which has opened due to another shelling. Segura takes Baker, and both of them crawl outside the bunker. Baker reveals that he had lied about his age and he is just sixteen years old. After a while, a group of soldiers amidst the war end up rescuing Baker—while Segura decides to go down into the bunker to save Kurt.

When Segura returns, he realizes that Kurt has already died and a frightening monster—the Angel of War has emerged from him. Realizing that the only way that evil can be contained is by blowing up the bunker, Segura sacrifices himself and uses a bomb to blow up the entire place—putting an end to the evil. As the film ends, we see Segura’s war journal lying on the battlefield, covered by mud.

The Real Meaning of the Angel of War—The Anti-War Theme of The Film Analyzed:

While in the film, the evil entity is allegorized as the ‘Angel of War,’ it is an obvious metaphor for the war itself and the horror it breeds. Unlike the heroism and celebration of machismo in our popular imagination, the protagonists in the film express skepticism about the politics of war and the dehumanization it entails.

Early on in the film, a young Baker has to kill a man just to stay alive, which makes him extremely remorseful. Segura comforts Baker by telling him, “Compassion is lost in a conflict”—a bleak overview of the horrendous, inhumane politics of carnage. Similarly, Lewis later tells Baker how he once thought of throwing himself in front of a wagon so that the accident would relieve him from his duties.

As the film ends, we also learn how a young sixteen-year-old man like Baker had to enlist in the war and face its consequences. Kurt further mentions how the ‘Angel of War’ is an unstoppable force that only seeks to consume —it has no purpose other than destruction.

Just like the war, the Angel seeks innocent vessels like an orphan Kurt or the young Baker to prey on and spread. In the end, Segura tries to put an end to the monster by blowing it up inside the bunker. However, it is highly unlikely that the Angel of War will ever die as long as humankind’s violent tendencies continue to instigate one conflict after another.

Related to Bunker (2023): The Portable Door (2023) Movie Ending, Explained: What exactly was Paul’s power?

Watch Bunker (2023) Trailer:

Bunker (2023) Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia
Bunker (2023) Cast: Roger Clark, Luke Baines, Kayla Radomski
Where to watch Bunker

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