The streaming platform Joyn, based in Munich, has released a new series "Catacombs". It is aimed primarily at a young, music-loving target group and is a genre mix of coming of age and crime thriller.
Maybe you've heard of the invisible? Homeless people, drug addicts and others who have been displaced by society, seek refuge under the busy streets of the cities and live there in a kind of parallel society. This is where the rave party takes place, which ends in a catastrophe and is the focus of the story. The catacombs or supply shafts really do exist, they were built in Munich in the 70s.
Of course you want to know whether secret raves are actually taking place in Munich's underground. Screenwriter Florian Kamhuber and filmmaker Jacob Erwa made up the story, but explain that such parties have happened in other places in Munich's underground. The location under the main train station was only chosen for the series.
The exciting story tells of bored rich kids who meet in the catacombs for a rave and of the subculture that exists in parallel in the dark corridors of the supply network. The social contrasts become clearer with each of the six episodes. There is a gloomy atmosphere in the branched underground and the figures who live there are also depicted dark and frightening.
The first episode begins with a look into the future, what is to come. At night in the underground, where the clouds of smoke are getting thicker and thicker, one suspects that something is wrong here. Shortly afterwards, screaming young people run out of the tunnels in panic.
So we get to know Nellie (played by Lilly Charlotte Dreesen), who comes from a good family and is desperately looking for her brother Max (Nick Romeo Reimann) outside. He is one of three who disappeared in the tunnel during the panic.
Nellie's friend Janosch (Yasin Boynuince) is also there, who is busy keeping his influencer status and posting updates about what's going on for his followers. In a flashback, we learn how the accident with large-scale deployment of the fire brigade and police could come about. We get an insight into what is going on at the raves of the young people and get to know the protagonists. Alcohol, drugs, stylish kids and expensive brands are supposed to show the decadence of this social class.
We also meet the "invisible" - dark figures, drug addicts and homeless people who hide here and devote themselves to their real-life problems not far from the partying. When a fire breaks out in a mass panic, Nellie's brother Max disappears, as do two others, and innumerable people are injured.
The fire in the catacombs is devoured by the press and this is where the differences between the families and those involved and their intentions come to the table. Nellie's mother Anna (Aglaia Szyszkowitz) comes under pressure as a municipal building councilor and has to go with her son's disappearance circumvent and take advantage of their position. It's about superficiality and greed for profit and what arises from it.
The structure of the individual episodes is constant, first the night scenes that show us the raves in the catacombs, then a cut to the present where we learn more. The essence of the story is the dramatic ending rave party, the decisions that each protagonist makes and how they influence himself and the others in the course of the story.
The more we learn, the more dramatically the differences in the layers between the chic and the underworld are shown and points of contact develop.
The subculture under Munich is constructed with many clichés and one would like a deeper insight. Mainly it is about those who live upstairs and with whom we are already familiar. Our voyeuristic streak is only partially satisfied when we get an insight into the world of young ravers. Nevertheless, the story is exciting throughout.
A second season has already been announced and it will be seen whether the producer team Erwa and Kamhuber will go into more depth.
Nice that there is a new German thriller series that deals with the rave party genre.
The "Catacombs" series has been available on Joyn PLUS + since March 11, 2021.