Written and directed by Eric Bress (The Buterfly Effect), Ghosts of War is a 2020 supernatural horror movie. When five Allied soldiers — Chris (Brenton Thwaites, Titans), Kirk (Theo Rossi, Sons of Anarchy, Luke Cage), Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect), Butchie (personal favourite Alan Ritchson, Titans, the criminally underrated Blood Drive), and Tappert (Kyle Gallner) — must hold a formerly Nazi-occupied chateau, they soon begin to experience unexplainable and terrifying occurrences. Billy Zane and Shaun Toub also have fun cameos.
+ the cast full of “hey, it’s that guy” actors, but with Kyle Gallner’s Tapper the absolute standout. Gallner was the one of the five that I didn’t really recognise from anything, but he absolutely stole the show, including an extended monologue about some war time travesties. Ritchson is a long time favourite of mine, and I’ll watch anything with him in it
+ as expected from these sort of movies, there is a third act twist that will either make or break the movie for you, and frankly I didn’t entirely hate it. It’s clear there is more going on than it appears on the face, and at this point in my horror movie viewing, I’m happy to see something a bit unique
+ though this is a horror movie, a few intense action scenes liven things up – and better still, they are relevant to the plot. Who doesn’t love a good firefight with some Nazis?
– a small number of the numerous spooks are creative, but far too many are simple jump scares of the “think I see something, no I guess not, oh no when I turn around it’s now right in front of me”. There are pale faces, piercing shrieks and the all too common “reflection” scares, and at times I couldn’t help but feel they got in the way of an interesting story. Had this instead been a psychological thriller than a supernatural horror, it might have been scarier than it was
Should you see this film: While this misses the mark as a horror movie, the action sequences, chemistry between the cast and a bold twist are worth at least a single viewing. I watching it as random choice on Netflix one night, and I wasn’t disappointed.