OK, the first 20 minutes or so you think you are watching an uninspired and poorly-acted b-movie about a western journalist becoming entangled in a dangerous war situation. Top that with a heap of cheap and easy atmospheric special effects and you will find yourself preparing for a long and tedious 90 minutes ahead. But be patient, just wait and get absorbed in the grim, strange and spooky world of a forgotten small-scale war episode, where people become mad and pathetic psychopaths. The madness of war in all its dark glory.
For a while I was wondering whether I was watching a foreign (i.e. non-American) movie which had been dubbed into English, but I couldn't figure out whether the actors were speaking in a foreign tongue or not. As I understand now, this movie was made by a Russian director (who also directed the great Night Watch) and features almost only Russian actors. The acting looks bad because of cheap and useless American post-production. It's a strange world...
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