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Film Review

WARHUNT (2022) Review

Neil reviews Altitude Films’ WARHUNT calling it “a solid supernatural thriller.” Stream the film from January 24.

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Warrant (Altitude Film)

Watch Warhunt on Altitude.film and other digital platforms from 24th January 2022.

Synopsis

A US Army plane flies over Germany’s Black Forest in 1945. It’s suddenly enveloped by a swarm of crow feathers. As the aircraft plummets towards the ground, the airmen glimpse the feathers converging to form a mysterious woman in black.

Review

There’s something undeniably captivating about a horror story which focusses on the Nazi regime’s fascination with the occult. Countless directors have taken on projects in the sub-genre which lends itself to everything from body-horror to comedy.

Here, director Mauro Borrelli aims for something of a straight-up supernatural horror. A group of American soldiers crash lands in Germany’s Black Forest and quickly find themselves fighting for their lives against a supernatural force. Borrelli co-wrote the film with Reggie Keyohara and together the team has created an atmospheric horror which plays to the strengths of its setting.

Director of photography Eric Gustavo Petersen is able to utilise the woodland setting to build tension amongst the narrative. Warhunt avoids trading its tension for jump scares, instead opting to menace its audience with the promise of certain doom for its characters. Speak of which, the film has quite the hard-hitting cast to bring its macho soldiers to life.

Robert Knepper plays Sergeant Brewer, the groups leader. He’s the typically damaged soldier who has seen his fair share of combat. Refusing to leave any man behind immediately throws the groups mission in to jeopardy. He’s joined by Micky Rourke as Major Johnson who is every bit the action-hero fans will expect from the actor. Johnson’s arc is fairly predictable, for much of the narrative he lurks in the background, waiting for his inevitable third-act twist.

The cast also includes Jackson Rathbone as an army surveyor who comes in very handy when the group discovers they are travelling in circles through the mysterious and haunted woodlands.

A quick glance at Borrelli’s IMDb shows that he’s a veteran of the world of special effects. Warhunt makes absolutely brilliant use of his skills in its makeup and creature effects. The shapeshifting witches (including Lou Hassen and Anna Paliga) look fantastic and grotesque. Peterson and his camera team make the most of the dark setting to ensure that any weakness in the visual effects are masked by the dense, gloomy atmosphere of the woods.

The production does feature the odd anachronism but these can be easily overlooked because the production puts in the works where it’s needed most. I defy any viewer not to be thoroughly entertained when the quickly escalating third-act kicks in to overdrive.

Verdict

A solid supernatural thriller which is sure to please fans of carefree, direct-to-video filmmaking.

⭐⭐⭐


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