Paranormal movies - next to slashers - are probably the most fun movies to immerse yourself in. Stories can get a little crazy, the ghosts can get terrifying - it's an all around screamfest. Over the last decade or so, we've been so many paranormal films get released, and there's been a lot of good ones, but there's also been a ton of duds. It's been a while since we've had a good one, but it's been even longer since we've had a phenomenal one. New to streaming comes one that blows all ghost movies in the last few years out of the water: GHOSTS OF WAR. I knew this film was going to kick some ass by the trailer, but man was I not prepared for the dark journey this film takes you down. Ghosts of War - directed by Eric Bress (who worked on The Butterfly Effect and 3 Final Destination movies) - throws you right into the middle of the action with a WWII American squadron taking out a bunch of Nazis on their way to their new assignment: a breathtaking, massive French Chateau that was previously taken by the Nazis. The film pretty quickly gets out of control as the house comes alive, and the five men begin to question what the fuck is going on; is it all in their heads or are they actually seeing and experiencing ghosts? Ghosts of War is dark, it's graphic, it's relentless, and it's got a story that will quite literally leave you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of where it's going next. This movie is - without a doubt - the best film I've seen so far this year, and quite honestly, it's going to be hard to top - and that's coming from someone who doesn't even really care for war films. But this... this writing is something else. This is a monster of a film that needs to be seen by horror fans of all backgrounds.
Without giving too much away (especially since I won't be able to do it proper justice), the film follows five American soldiers during World War II as they travel to their new assignment at the French Chateau. Their assignment is to relieve the soldiers who are already there, and to take over watch over the property. The property was previous overtaken by the Nazis, and journals found in the house tell the story of a family who were living there at the time of the takeover - as well as the atrocities the Nazis inflicted upon them. Once the soldiers post up in the massive house, the men begin to see, feel, and experience things that they can't quite explain, and they begin to question if there really is any chance of it being paranormal activity. Things go from bad to worse as things really begin to get out of control, and some seriously sinister truths about the history of what went on at the house come out. But how much of what they are experiencing is true, and how much of it is merely in their mind? Find out how America's finest brave through the madness in... GHOSTS OF WAR.
Honestly, there's so fucking much I wanna say about this movie that I'm really trying not to say because I cannot emphasize enough how badly I want you to experience this film fresh. This movie is massive and will drag you down into the darkest depths of your own mind as things go from bad to worse to insane, all within a simple hour and a half runtime. The first hour of the film is dark and twisted, and it sets a really grim tone but the last half hour is going to seriously leave you on the edge of your seat in complete awe at what you're watching. I'm not even kidding, I was laying down in bed watching this and at one point I literally found myself perking up out of the bed, completely mind blown by the events as they unfold. There's things you'll see, minor details you'll pick up on, and terrors galore that will absolutely stun you. Bress has this unbelievable way of telling a story and having it unfold in the most perfect of ways. Ghosts of War is a prime example of this as the smallest of details - perfectly placed and hinted at - all come together at one point or another to reveal the films bigger picture.
Armed with an unbelievable cast - Brenton Thwaites, Theo Rossi, Skylar Astin, Kyle Gallner, and Alan Ritchson - and a breathtaking cinematographer - Lorenzo Senatore - Bress has put together a masterpiece of pure terror and real life horror. Honestly, watching this movie took me right back to watching horror films like it as a kid, and experiencing that mindfuck of a movie for the first time again. That's how shocking this film is, and how much of an insane journey it is. The film looks absolutely stunning as well - making it feel like a big budget Hollywood production but with the terrors of an indie madman, not some overproduced Hollywood horror. From the battlegrounds to the house and everywhere the film explores inbetween, Ghosts of War is an absolutely unforgettable journey into the lives of five soldiers who begin to question everything going on around them, and for good reason.
Ghosts of War is, without a doubt in my mind, a must-see film for all fans of the horror genre. You may not like the first half hour or even the second half hour, but I promise you, by the end of the movie you will find yourself so engulfed in this film and so mind blown, your brains will be pouring out of your ears. It's now become my #1 recommended film of the summer, an essential viewing for everyone. You won't regret it.