I’ve not done a movie review since Rise of Skywalker way back in January thanks to Covid-19 shutting the cinemas, but last night I watched a movie that stunned me at just how shit it was. So much so that I felt compelled to write a review.
I’ll just get straight to the point. Ghosts of War is possibly one of the worst movies I have ever seen.
As with most low budget horror movies (if you can call this horror, I don’t think the creators could decide on what it is) the premise is quite promising. Set in World War Two a group of US soldiers are assigned to protect a manor house in the French countryside.
This is also where we get our first glimpse at the terrible special effects when two US bombers fly overhead. They’re so laughably CGI it instantly takes you out of the scene.
The Nazis are on the run but are still a menace to the region. The manor house is located on a strategically important road which is why the US forces are so keen to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
The movie begins by introducing our heroes. A rag tag bunch of men who do the usual poorly scripted military chat about their lives at home, hobbies etc… then as they’re walking across a field, they hear a car approaching. It’s full of those pesky Jerries. They set an ambush and promptly blow it up killing most of the occupants inside.
This film is a War Crime
This is when alarm bells began ringing for me. Our ‘brave’ heroes then promptly commit atrocities and outright murder the survivors with one of them challenging a surviving German officer to a bout of fisticuffs. The German gains the upper hand and then the US officer promptly shoots the guy in the head.
Did the writers of this movie realise that the outright murder of surrendered prisoners is a crime? Did they think this make the audience like the characters? If they did then they were massively mistaken. The US soldiers now just come across as thugs and murderers no better than the Nazis they are fighting. Great job guys!
The Manor of terribad sfx
They reach the suitably creepy manor and are greeted by another squad of US soldiers who were babysitting the place and who’d been waiting for relief. This new bunch act all sketchy and we immediately know something is off as they’ve all been sleeping in the main hall and not taken advantage of the manors many bedrooms. They don’t tell the new arrivals that anything is amiss and promptly depart leaving the new guys a bit confused.
As with every bad horror movie the team promptly split up and go their separate ways as they explore the mansion. Now this is where the film was actually ok. The scares were pretty good and suitably creepy. Figures in the background, strange noises, and shadows. It builds up the tension well. As time goes on more and more bizarre events occur and then the plot goes down the path to loony town.
WTF is happening?
So as the movie progresses we learn that the ghosts haunting the house are those of an Afghan family that was killed by Nazis for harbouring Jews (…this literally makes not a lick of sense, but don’t worry all is soon revealed)
One by one the ghosts start killing the team until it’s the turn of the lead character, who wait for it, wakes up in a hospital bed in the present day. Wait, what…
If you’ve ever played the Assassins Creed video games, it’s obvious that the writers based this whacko sci-fi twist on them. The captain wakes up, confused and Billy Zane tells him that he was in fact wounded in Afghanistan and that he was put into a WW2 simulation to keep the brain alive.
At this point me and the wife were laughing at just how bat shit the plot had become. Turns out the captain and his team were all in Afghanistan and were tasked with saving a family of informants from ISIS. They fail and ISIS kills said family in the same way the ghosts from WW2 were killed. A firefight ensues and then out of nowhere a random Afghan woman blows them all up. Despite the US soldiers being blown to pieces and barely alive, the woman is somehow able to cast a curse on them before she croaks it.
Now, this is where this film goes really batshit crazy. We jump back to the captain who is now explaining everything to the audience (seriously if you ever have to explain everything back to the audience you’ve done a piss poor job of writing). Except, somehow thanks to the curse the ghosts of the simulation break into the real world and start causing havoc. Then the movie just ends with a black screen. Quite possibly making it the dumbest ending to any movie ever.
Netflix movies are a bit of a running joke, but nothing could have prepared me for just how terrible this movie is. A promising start gives way to terrible special effects, a non-sensical hard left into bizarre science fiction territory and writing that is so bad I was left laughing hysterically for about an hour afterwards.