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In 1917, in the Western front, a group of survivors of the British Company Y reach the most forward German trench in a foggy night. They capture a German soldier that advises that evil is in the trench, forcing the soldiers to kill each other, and asks them to leave the place. Only the private Charlie Shakespeare listens and helps the prisoner, while a supernatural force scares and makes the soldiers insane. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Welcome to hell," are the eerily prophetic words, complete with shells, atmospheric all-is-not-right music and the groans of dying men, a hint of what's to come. After the battle, out of the fog and into a German trench, the men of Y-company discover that's exactly where they've landed. First of all, the place is deserted. And strewn with (mutilated) corpses of German soldiers. All dead. Except one (Torben Liebrecht), who warns them desperately that there is "quelque chose de mal" in that place, and to get out as soon as they can. Naturally, they all ignore him, except for Shakespeare (Jamie Bell). Soon, it proves true when the men start turning against each other, or getting sucked into the earth with barbed wire, or tying each other up à-la-crucifixion.
Well. After two years of watching this in the making, it hasn't disappointed (thank you, Mr, Bassett). Great set-up, with the rain, the rats, trenches and mud to make Spielberg weep with envy. While the script could use some work ("what's the matter with this place? What's happening?" asks one -rhetorically?), the acting keeps the characters from becoming walking clichés, especially Jamie Bell as the unwelcome greenhorn, or Hugo Speer as the duty-bound Sgt. Tate, to name a few. The suspense was average and wasn't so scary that there'd be lost sleep over it, nor was it anything over-original. But it's a great piece of ensemble casting (i'd pay the admission again to see Hugh O'Conor say the f-word), cool FX and steady directing make it a good viewing.
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