I wonder if there will ever be a time when the word Nazi or its image will ever be the go-to for symbolic evil? While WWII was one of the darkest times on human history, the subject is something of a tired cliche and almost lazy int the realms of Horror.
Having said that, I like the approach that Director/writer Ted Geoghegan (We Are Still Here; Mohawk) goes for in order to twist our expectations by trapping his characters in a sealed room during a seance. Not only does this amplify the tension and play with the concept of life in the trenches, but also exposes the darkest secrets through post-war trauma at its heart.
All five characters that unite are military veterans and all have experienced the trepidation of war in their own unique way. So when one of their group, Lt. Col. Clive Hockstatter (Larry Fessenden – Depraved) invites them to his place, in the wake of his wife’s passing, the childhood friends drop it all to be with him. Little do they know that Hockstatter has plans to reunite with his love through the psychic medium of a seance. Once they have opened the portal to the other side, other forces come into play and the group are forced to expose their demons or spend their eternity in psychotic limbo. What extremes will they go to to win ther freedom and at what cost, in this microscopic scrutiny of humanity.
The feature takes some time to ramp up to the seance in question with characters that are a little hard to engage with. It feels a little forced and laboured to get to this point but once it does, the shifts and changes start to resonate and a truly harrowing ordeal lay before them. By the films’ conclusion you’re even left pondering the choices made and whether we can ever be forgiven for our sins. Is redemption possible no matter how disturbing our past actions may be?
You have to be patient with this potboiler as it can be quite easy to zone out in the first act. If you stick with it though, an entertaining period crime drama starts to sizzle with nice effects and strong performances from Anne Ramsay, Fessenden and the cast.
- Saul Muerte