This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.
Set in 1944 France, in the Ardennes forest region, an American Intelligence Squad locates a German platoon wishing to surrender rather than die in Germany's final war offensive. The two groups of men, isolated from the war at present, put aside their differences and share a Christmas celebration. The surrender plan includes a mock battle that turns bad when one of the soldiers is unaware of the surrender plan.Written by
Anthony Hughes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm not exactly sure what country we're in. Could be Belgium, Luxembourg, France, or even Germany. I don't know what day it is. I have no watch, so I don't know what time it is. I'm not even sure of my name. The next thing you know, they'll be making me a general.
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I saw the film when it was in theatres nearly 20 years ago. As for scary films set in a snow-bound mansion, I found this to be ten times as creepy as The Shining. This is not a horror film, but certain images in the first half of the film are as horrifying as anything I've seen in film since then. I don't mean gore or grue. I mean ghost-story horror.
A war movie/horror film? Has anything ever been done like that? I think this film is in a genre all its own. I guess this is an anti-war film. If you wish to view it as such. It certainly does not make the viewer want to rush out and fight a war. In the cast are John McGinley and Kevin Dillon, both from the cast of "Platoon," but here in significantly different roles.
I regret to say I've not been able to totally analyze and deconstruct this film. I can't tell you what it's all about, or what you should think or feel as you watch it. There is so much going on in this film. I saw it in the theatre nearly twenty years ago, and then again on cable when I taped it, about 16 years ago. I watched it again tonight. It was just as spooky and just as impressive as it was two decades ago.
I totally loved this film. My father fought in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest, very close in time and proximity to this story. His battalion, from Pennsylvania, trained at Camp Shelby (in Mississippi), just as the soldiers in this film. Some horrifying things he saw in the forties, he was only able to begin to describe a few years ago.
This is such a terrific film. For so many different reasons.
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