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‘Trench 11’ Review

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Genre : Horror
Rating : Not Rated
Director: Leo Scherman

Cast:
Rossif Sutherland
Charlie Carrick
Robert Stadlober

One of the most unique facets of horror is the fact that there are so many subgenres within it. Sure, horror isn’t the only genre like this but few others feel as distinct as the ones within horror. You can browse the scary movie section on Netflix will give you everything from slashers and psychopathic killers to ghosts, goblins and a wide variety of nasty monsters. And as fun as those can be one of the most interesting horror subgenres is also one of the oldest, military horror. Going as far back as 1941’s King of the Zombies the battlefield has become a perfect environment to frighten audiences. From the red-stained slopes in Dead Snow to more cerebral terrors like Jacob’s Ladder wartime has made a terrifyingly varied experience. The latest to enlist is Canadian fright film, Trench 11.

It is 1918 and World War I is coming to an end. In France, the Allied Powers are on their way to victory when they discover biological weapons. Developed by Germany this mysterious threat is in a base known as the Wotan Compound. Lead by traumatized tunneller Berton they travel further and further underground, discovering the disturbing experiments of Dr. Reiner. Developing a new kind of disease it can not only end the Great War but the world itself.

 

 

Helming this Canadian tale of terror is writer-director Leon Scherman. Best known for his work in reality television he was actually trained by David Cronenberg (Rabid, The Fly), a fact recognizable in Trench 11. Like his mentor Scherman is able to expertly mix genres and influences. Within the claustrophobic tunnels beneath the Earth he is able to create the kind of paranoid-laden setting reminiscent of The Descent and John Carpenter’s The Thing. Thanks to a good set and a tension-filled style he is able to defy his budget and create one of the more unique settings in recent years. At the same time Trench 11 isn’t always a quiet, atmospheric affair.

Thanks to effects from Francois Dagenais (Land of the Dead, the Saw series) Scherman isn’t afraid to let the blood flow. Again, like Cronenberg’s best, Trench 11 is just as occasional detour into the bloody world of body horror. With some bone crunching sound design moments like an impromptu autopsy and a shell-shocked German soldier’s suicide are sure to delight horror fans when the actual infected leave a bit to be desired.

That isn’t to say you’ll see too much of these parasitic nightmares. While the 28 Days Later-esque creatures may stalk the halls of the Wotan Compound, Trench 11 is more of a concerned with storytelling than scares. A collaboration between Scherman and writer Matt Booi, Trench 11 plays more like a taut thriller than your typical horror movie. More of a slow burn you’ll spend more time with our group of stock soldiers than some may like. And while the cast can be quite likable the one to stick out is Robert Stadlober as Nazi scientist, Dr. Reiner.

 

 

Doing his best Hans Landa impression, Stadlober is the perfect mix of mad scientist and evil mastermind. Like Christoph Waltz’s Landa you never quite know how to take the character. One moment he is eating the scenery, justifying his devious experiments. The next he is unflinchingly inhuman killing his hostage. Again, while nothing we haven’t seen before it adds color to a movie that can feel a bit stale at times, particularly early on.

Despite its flaws, Trench 11 is a worthy addition to the military horror pantheon. Even though the beginning can be a bit slow it does a good job not only showing the effects of war but also how far some will go to win. And while it not be an atomic bomb when it comes to impacting horror it’s mix of gory body horror and likable cast make this 90-minute movie an enjoyable timebomb of terror.

 

Rating 6.5/10
Links : IMDB

Trench 11 is now available on DVD, Bluray, VOD and Digital HD Now

Comic Book Movies

Joaquin Phoenix Stares Into Your Soul As The Joker Via “il venerdì di repubblica” Cover

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“Cinematic achievement on a high level.”

Director Todd Phillips has gone on the record stating, his film is going to piss off hardcore comic book fans. The upcoming ‘Joker’ movie will not follow any comic book plot lines or continuity for the villain, and will in fact be its very own stand alone film. With that being said, the movie is already garnering praise from select audiences. Cameron Bailey, co-head and artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, went on record with Toronto Sun, hailing the film as “Cinematic achievement on a high level.” Bailey continued on, saying:

“First of all it’s terrific. So it should play on our largest stage. But it’s a really original take on comic book movies and on the Joker character in particular. It’s not based on an existing story, it has one of the greatest actors in modern cinema, Joaquin Phoenix, in the lead, and Robert De Niro is in it as well, one of the best actors that has ever lived.”

Bailey, also went on to say, the film is “Very cinematic,” for a low budget feature.

“Has an interesting tone and approach to it. It’s set in the late ’70s, early ’80s and it feels like it was made then. It’s gritty in its look, it has references to Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking and it feels like a cinematic achievement on a high level. Although it’s working with very populist material, it has great ambition. That’s why it’s a Gala.”

Check out the newest ‘Joker’ magazine cover via il venerdì di repubblica.

‘Joker’ hits theaters October 4, 2019

 

 

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Brightburn – This Superhero Parody Peppered With SF And Horror Elements Is Simply Sublime

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Take.. The.. World.
Take the world.

Superhero-movie-haters unite. Run to a nearby movie theater to see this movie. Because “Brightburn” is the ultimate anti-superhero-film of all time. The moment I realized which direction it was going, I cursed myself because after seeing “Avengers: Endgame” I’d decided to have a little sabbatical. I was going to avoid movies with characters in tightly fitting latex suits and superhuman powers. But as it became clear that it wasn’t what I expected, my enthusiasm grew all the more. My enthusiasm for films such as “Deadpool” and “Ant-Man” (because of a touch of whimsy and the originality) was effortlessly overtaken by this highly original anti-superhero film. And if one also mixes the superhero genre (of which they are continuously producing sequels and prequels) with my all-time favorite genre horror, it simply can’t go wrong. I am indeed enthusiastic, yes. Extremely enthusiastic!

 

Brightburn

 

Is it a plane? A bird? Is it Superman? Uh, nope.

It all starts as a sort of Superman parody or reboot (another favorite Hollywood term these days). Here too, we meet a young couple who have been trying to have a child for years. Even spicy lingerie doesn’t do wonders because farmer Kyle Bryer (David Denman) (and yes, the location is again a big farm) is rather clumsy, which means that his watch always gets stuck in his wife’s hair. BANG! Before they realize it, some object out of space crashes nearby. Right in their back yard. And as if it’s the most normal thing, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) finds an innocent, sweet little guy in this comet or spacecraft. They adopt him instantly and call him Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn). All peace and light, you think. Until the boy realizes that something is wrong. Especially when he tries to start the lawnmower and suddenly the thing ends up at the neighbors. A few meadows further.

 

Brightburn

 

An evil superhero with an attitude.

With the well-known figure Superman, the parents didn’t waste any time and told young Superman to keep his growing powers under control and only use it to help humans. In the 70s this fact was acceptable. But after the trillionth superhero movie, that concept really starts to sound boring. And that’s where “Brightburn” starts to deviate substantially. As soon as it seems as if puberty hits Brandon, and no it’s not about hair growth and other side-effects, and he wanders around the farm at night looking for something that seems to call him, it becomes clear that a constructive parent-child conversation is not really useful. When Brandon feels disadvantaged, it’s best to stay away from him. The consequences of a tantrum can be disastrous. You could end up flying into a closet or have a crushed hand as a result. So they are stuck with a teenage son with issues who has superpowers. A “Dennis the Menace” with an attitude. You don’t have to be smart to know what’s going to happen next.

 

Brightburn

 

Not really horror.

Let’s talk about the horror part. For those who are only used to super-hero films, it will be a shock. For a seasoned horror fanatic, it’s all just ordinary. It’s not terrifying or too bloody. There are some excellent gore effects in it, though. I personally found it simply exciting at certain moments. Exciting as in how the story will continue and end. And they even tried to tackle that part in an original and quirky way. The majority of blockbusters always have such a predictable outcome. In a western, the bad guys always eat dust in the end. A romcom has a happy ending in most cases. And even superheroes on the verge of despair will eventually prevail (such as The Avengers, for example). If you expect this to happen here as well, you’re absolutely wrong. But there’s one thing I’m sure of. The marketing department of Marvel already smells money. I bet they are planning a sequel already with The Avengers trying to beat the unstoppable Brandon.

 

Brightburn

 

Excellent acting.

About the acting, I can be brief and concise. Simply excellent. Especially the mother and son bonding was worked out and portrayed in a proper way. The desperation and motherly love that Elizabeth Banks radiates is simply wonderful to see. And even though Brandon seems incomparably innocent at times, the moment his evil ego pops up, he can conjure up a frightening and impressive facial expression. It’s just a shame he didn’t focus his anger on the annoying class bully as well.

 

Brightburn

 

I repeat it once more: a brilliant film.

Brightburn” definitely will end up in my top list this year. The only downside was the duration. Far too short of course. But otherwise, this superhero parody, peppered with SF and horror elements, is simply sublime. The fact this film has a go-against-the-rules attitude and the idea of a superhero who doesn’t care about humanity is a pleasant and refreshing change compared to the commercial one-size-fits-all releases nowadays. Just something as simple as Brandon’s costume. Has anyone ever wondered who actually made the Spiderman suit? Or did Peter Park have a Sewing and knitting diploma? Brandon uses a piece of woolen textile and a bedspread as equipment. Ingenious anyway. As brilliant as the film itself. I keep repeating it. It is hoped that it will stay with this unique film and that they won’t come up with a miserable number of sequels.

 

My rating 9/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Action

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Gets First Motion Poster

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“An action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”

Christopher Nolan’s 2020  film, ‘Tenet,’ has been shrouded in secrecy for quite some time. Recently a teaser trailer was dropped, slightly lifting the veil as to what we can expect from the highly anticipated thriller. The star studded cast includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clemence Poesy and Kenneth Branagh amongst others. The recent teaser trailer only gives a small tidbit for fans to grasp onto, showing the lines: “Time has come for a new protagonist” and “Time has come for a new kind of mission.” The trailer is said to depict Washington’s character seemingly moving in a time loop of some sort.

Many fans are going with the idea that ‘Tenet’ is some sort of ‘Inception’ sequel, which is highly unlikely. But based on the plot description, it sounds as though it could be loosely connected:

“An action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”

Some have pointed out that Michael Caine is listed amongst the cast but is the only character returning from the original film [Inception], which went on to gross $828.3mill worldwide while being nominated for eight Oscars and bringing home four. ‘Tenet’ is set to arrive in theaters July 17, 2020

 

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