On E4 tonight at 11.10pm
How important is setting for a horror film?
I know that suspense and fear can be created with clever editing and camerawork or spooky music, but it’s always great fun (in a spine-tingling kind of way) if the action is taking place in an old period house or a ruined castle or underground caves… or the London Underground.
Having grown up in the north of England, I have to confess that I found navigating the tube network a pretty scary prospect when I first came down to London, but that’s a different type of fear. Many Londoners using the underground go through the motions of their daily commute without giving any thought to the network of tunnels, corridors and staircases that exist in that subterranean environment.
However, the London Underground develops a strange atmosphere when it begins to empty late into the evening, and it’s then that you become aware of how creepy the place is. Harsh, flickering lights, rumbling trains, strange noises, gusts of wind shooting down tunnels and mice with no fear of humans – the imagination can run riot while waiting for that last the train.
These unnerving aspects of the London Underground are used to great effect in this film in which Franka Potente finds herself locked in the network after falling asleep on a platform. Something sinister is prowling around the tunnels and it’s only a matter of time before it tracks her down.