I was a little weary going into this. Most of my experiences with Russian cinema lately have been a little, well, lacklustre. Junk mostly, even if it was well-intentioned. Therefore, I didn't hold out too much hope for this mini-budget-Carpenter-inspired horror that takes our lead heroine down a bloody big hole with a group of very well armed, albeit faceless and nameless soldier fodder, ready to be consumed by whatever lurks below.
Two versions of this film exist to my knowledge as the first cut (the one I was viewing) was paced a little too politely and, if we're honest, probably dawdles a little too much. The second version removed fifteen minutes of extraneous stuff that really shouldn't have been there to begin with, which helps the whole thing move along at a speed more bearable.
As with most modern Russian flicks, there is some inevitable 'lost in translation' moments but the script suffers for that too often to use just that as an excuse. Honestly, this may be partly the case, but the rest of the script doesn't inspire confidence as it's also pretty shoddy.
The acting is better than expected and is probably the film's saving grace, which is as pleasing as it is surprising and all of the main cast certainly earn their roubles as they have all clearly put a shift in.
On the whole, this is better than we should really have expected and is certainly watchable for horror fans that relished seventies Carpenter movies. It's not a classic by any means, even for a genre as forgiving as horror, but this really could have been much, much worse.