A low budget, low concept British science fiction film should accept that it is what it is and have a little fun. Scintilla is exactly this, a cheap, dark project about a team of hired mercenaries who must break into a heavily guarded, out of use war camp to retrieve an unnamed object. Set in an ambiguous post war era which could be either the present or future, the band of misfits, lead by a weary ex soldier type (John Lynch) deceive the Eastern European dwellers of the camp into letting them in, before burrowing through a maze of thick underground tunnels.

It’s a dull, rehearsed story that takes itself too seriously; the cat and mouse games can be pre-empted way before they happen, and the characters are devoid of any dimension, serving only as fodder. Any vaguely interesting cast members are culled quickly and early on, leaving a miserable and angry bunch of individuals who you would much rather see die horribly sooner rather than later. Like Gareth Edwards’ Monsters, the power of suggestion could have been the film’s saving grace. Instead an army of “war orphans” are shown skulking through the labyrinth like a herd of extras from a very old episode of Doctor Who.

Those who manage to survive their clunky attackers find their target, but of course all is not what it seems and much shouting and shooting ensues. The realisation that this is a thinly stretched and predictable story should be owned by Billy O’Brien; gun toting deranged caricatures and lashings of gore could make for an entertaining watch at least. The clichés, however, come in waves, with the strong outliving the weak and gaping holes in the plot that are never filled. Lynch does his best in the central role and Antonia Thomas, best known for her TV career , has a decent stab at an underused character, but it’s not enough to save Scintilla from being a completely average, forgettable science fiction film.