Writer/Director: Michael J. Bassett
Running time: 94 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 6th September 2002
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 31st July 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I watched this film purely on the write-up it got on the TV guide. It looked quite promising; a group of WWI soldiers are trapped behind enemy lines in a seemingly deserted German trench. They soon find that the bodies littering the place may not be quite as dead as they first thought. I was looking forward to a supernatural thriller/horror along similar lines to the 1984 film, The Keep. Sadly it wasn’t so, it got too bogged down in the mud of the trenches in the middle, but there was a neat twist at the end. I won’t do a summary this time; I think I’ve given you the idea of what it’s about already.
As far as performances go, well, for me the standout actor was the young Jamie Bell as Pfc. Charlie Shakespeare, he had some meaty dialogue and coped with it all very well. Andy Serkis did a good job as the psychotic Pvt. Thomas Quinn, as did Hugo Speer as Sgt. David Tate. Also worthy of note were Laurence Fox as Capt. Bramwell Jennings, Matthew Rhys as Cpl. Doc Fairweather, Hugh O'Conor as Anthony Bradford and an early role for Kris Marshall as Pvt. Barry Starinski. Oh, and finally, I thought the trench rats did a fine job too.
This is one of those films that has the feel of something that was based on a stage play. It was all way too dramatic and emotions were way over the top (I felt). I guess it suffered from quite a low budget too because the effects and CGI were far from top notch. Although the gore factor is quite high, so definitely not one for the squeamish. I guess it’s worth seeing for Jamie Bell’s performance, but be prepared to come away slightly disappointed. Sadly, not recommended.
My Score: 4.6/10
IMDb Score: 5.9/10 (5,436 votes when this review was written).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29/100 (7 reviews counted when this review was written).