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Ghosts of War (2020)
Ghosts of War (2020)
2020 | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller, War
6.1 (7 Ratings)
Movie Rating
The ending is worth it
Ghosts of War follows a group of American soldiers as they make their way to take up post at a French chateau towards the end of the Second World War, and encounter much more than they bargained for in this slightly above average B movie.

Right from the start, this opens with your usual cliched group of soldiers that you’d find in any war film. Brenton Thwaites is Chris, the boss and leader, you have Skylar Astin as Eugene, the brains/intellectual, Kyle Gallner as the odd and trouble sniper Tappert, Alan Ritchson as a typical macho man and finally Theo Rossi as the filler. So far, so generic, and other than Tappert who gets a decent bit of creepy character development later on, the rest of the main group are virtually one dimensional. Which is a shame as the cast are a decent group of actors that have been let down by the poor writing. Although I did enjoy Billy Zane popping up with a intentionally cheesy blink and you’ll miss it cameo as a Nazi with horrific German accent.

The film begins like your typical war movie; a group of soldiers working their way across country to reach their destination. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before. However what helps lift this is a rather moving and poignant opening quote, and a score that accompanies this very well. The score in this would be at home on any dramatic war film, and almost seems out of place in a horror film. It gives this a feeling that it’s a lot more epic and grand than it actually turns out to be.

What really drags this film down is when the group arrive at the aforementioned chateau and begin to experience all of the supernatural going’s on. Aside from a a couple of potentially creepy scenes, the jump scares are tired and predictable and the ghosts look like every other spook that’s been in a modern day horror film recently. It reeks of a below average, typical ghost film with some hit and miss special effects (albeit with an respectable amount of blood and gore) and had it continued on like this, it would’ve been completely forgettable. However throughout the scenes in the chateau there are hints that there is something deeper and more sinister going on, and it starts to pick up again when the group encounter a party of Nazi soldiers trying to enter the building. Things start to get a little weird and confusing and then a big reveal in the last 20 minutes completely shifts this film into something you never expected. I didn’t see this particular twist coming and for me, this made this movie more than just a sub par horror film. The reveal has been met with mixed reviews from critics and reviews alike, but I think it injects some much needed enjoyment and intrigue – it’s just a shame we have to wait over an hour to get there. The entire twist and ending is rather disturbing and also quite moving and emotional, and the final scene, whilst one we’ve seen done many times before, did make this a satisfying and darkly entertaining end.

Ghosts of War starts off as a below average clichéd war horror film, however it you can get through the first hour, the ending packs a decent, enjoyable and rather surprising punch. It’s just a shame the first two acts don’t match up to the ending.
Army of the Dead (2021)
Army of the Dead (2021)
2021 | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
6.7 (22 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Took To Long To Get To The Fun Part
I love me a good Zombie flick. I also love me a good Heist flick. So…when I heard that Zack Snyder (JUSTICE LEAGUE) was making a “Zombie/Heist Flick”, I thought “what’s not to like”?

Turns out…plenty.

A pet project of Sndyer’s that has been stuck in “development hell” in Hollywood for almost 2 decades, ARMY OF THE DEAD tells the tale of a group of mercenaries that look to rob $200 million from a vault under the casinos of Las Vegas - one small problem…Las Vegas has been walled off as a way to contain a zombie plague.

My first warning that this was not going to a pleasant experience is that this film has a 2 1/2 hour run time. That certainly seems bloated for a Zombie film and the first 1 1/2 of this flick certainly proves this out as Snyder - ham handedly - seeks to flesh out each of the characters in long, boring exposition scenes that didn’t really add anything to the tension or action. Well…it did add something…restless boredom.

But…I gotta admit, once the group of mercenaries make their way to the vault in Las Vegas, the last hour of the film was pretty darn fun.

Dave Bautista (Drax in the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY films) leads the group of mercenaries and Ella Purnell (Emma in MISS PEREGRINE…) is his estranged daughter. I won’t bore you with the details of why these 2 are estranged…but they are and Bautista insists that his daughter NOT come along on this mission. So you know what happens next…yep, she comes along and I was rooting for her to get killed almost from the start. Neither of these 2 characters work and since they are central to the story they are really at the root of the problems with the first 1 1/2 hours of this film.

The rest of the ensemble, however, are a lot of fun and bring that “B Monster Movie” vibe to the proceedings and they look like they are having alot of fun. Tig Notero, Ana de La Reguera, Omari Hardwick and Theo Rossi are an enjoyable lot and know EXACTLY what type of film they are in.

But the standouts of the ensemble are the always great Garret Dillahunt (John Dorie in FEAR THE WALKING DEAD) who brings his usual “A” game to the proceedings. As does Nora Arnezeder (SAFE HOUSE) as “The Coyote” a survivor who has been in Las Vegas before and - especially - Matthias Schweighofer (RESISTANCE) who steals every scene he is in playing the German safecracker.

I would have loved it if Snyder would have cut the Bautista and daughter scenes (and characters) and just had this ensemble go after the loot - it would have been a much better - and shorter - film.

But…if you can last through the long, boring first 1 1/2 hours, the last hour is “good enough” Zombie action with an interesting “twist” on the genre that I will have to give Snyder credit for.

If you do all this, you’ll have a passably decent enough entertaining time.

Letter Grade: B-

6 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(OfMarquis)