At the height of the terror of WWI, the few survivors of an
English regiment, trapped behind enemy lines, take refuge
in a deserted German trench, waiting to be rescued. But when
no help arrives, one by one they begin to suffer mysterious
and gruesome fates. Slowly, a terror beyond all human understanding
is unleashed. Is the trench possessed by something even more
terrible than the war that surrounds them or does some other
unknown evil wait to claim them all?...
one of those movies that I had intended to see when it was
released theatrically. But, for one reason or another, never
managed to get around to. The
movie is a sort of cross genre between horror and sci-fi,
with the emphasis on horror.
your typical 'spooky monster offs our heroes one by one' plot,
but setting it during WWI is inspired and the claustrophobic
feeling that the trench walls provide is impressive.
impressive cast give first rate performances. Jamie Bell (Billy
Elliott), Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) and Laurence
Fox (The Hole) run around the trenches screaming, swearing
and blowing things up and you are never sure whether they
are already dead, trapped on some alternate reality or hallucinating
due to a gas attack. This
ambiguity helps lift this movie onto a higher plateau - it
really does treat the audience with a little more respect
than most Hollywood blockbusters.
disc also comes equipped with a very impressive collection
of extras including three audio commentaries; Featurette;
Deleted/alternate scenes; Original theatrical trailer; Behind
the scenes footage; and interviews with cast and crew.
three commentaries are worth listening too. Michael J Bassett
is wonderfully frank about the problems he had in making this
movie and how he was overruled on more than one occasion.
And do you know what? If Bassett had been left alone to edit
the movie he envisaged it would have been a whole lot better.
are a number of alternate scenes included, which Bassett had
to change because those higher up the food chain didn't like.
Sadly, on almost every occasion, Bassett's original vision
was the better one. And it was a shame that there was not
more cash available as Quinn's original death would have been
a sight to see - there is a rough alternate cut on the DVD.
Bassett does tell us a little more than we need to know. For
example during the masturbating scene he mentions that he
had problems keeping it in the movie. He goes on to explain
how if he was away from his family for so long that's what
he would have done. Yes, thanks Michael for that piece of
his first movie, Deathwatch is an intriguing start
for Bassett. Watch out for his name cropping up again in the
future - where hopefully he'll have more artistic control.
movie is far from perfect, but with such a small budget to
play with it is remarkable that this movie is half as good
as it is.
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