Soldier of War, A Movie Review

1 Feb

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Arriving on VOD March 3rd with a DVD following on April 9th

Soldier of War may seem like a misleading title, but this horror crime drama has a lot of terrific layers of backstory to examine. Anyone wondering about what the world might be like should the Nazis successfully invade England or curious about the experiments going on by either side to turn the tide of war is encouraged to check out this film written by John and Peter Adams.

This film is not simply about what gets unleashed from a lost military bunker in Shafton Forest. When the kills come swiftly, I was not disappointed at the Jason Voorhees wannabe. This character was military, and a human. Just what he is now … that’s hard to say when considering how he gets defeated.
When this killer gets unleashed by two kids, he’s ready to cause problems for the sleepy community nearby. I want to call this film Broadchurch Lite even though the story is completely different. A young boy gets hit by a car, and he knows what he uncovered. Pretty soon, cops are being killed, and the locals are next! The only figure who seems to know anything is Jack (John Rhys-Davies). He gives this film the much-needed drama move the plot forward. Although he is a supporting character, this movie would not get the recognition it deserves without him. When he realizes his ghosts are coming out of the closet, the story has a fun spin which kept me interested. He helps detectives Unwin (Tristam Summers) and Huntley (Rosie Fellner) figure out what’s going on. By the end of the second act, the hunt for this madman can begin. He flits about quickly, and some may say he’s a ghost than a zombie.

The paranormal edge is light and that’s a welcome change from all the effects-laden horror films that are out there. When we have POV shots from the killer’s perspective, the moments are effectively creepy. When more about who this person is gets revealed, I got to know why he targeted specific individuals. Could he be a figure hell-bent on doing good? After being sealed in a military bunker for more than half a century, he’s not going to know how much the world has changed.

Should Nazis successfully land in the UK, Jack revealed Brits were not above creating the “super soldier” too.

This film is re-branded for the American audience (it was originally titled Aux in the UK) and it’s worth checking out since Rhys-Davies is playing a character very different from what he’s famous for. I loved him as the blustery Allah in the Indiana Jones films, and the gruff Gimli in Lord of the Rings. To see him lend his talents to independent cinema shows he’s not ready to retire anytime soon. Anyone going to Toronto Comic Con can get to meet him and perhaps ask about how involved he is with this scene when he’s not in another Hollywood style blockbuster.

3½ out of 5

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