Noob Reviews: Ghosts of War
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Ghosts of War?
Set within World War 2, five American soldiers are sent to relieve another allied unit and guard a French castle that was previously occupied by the Nazi high command that controlled the area. Unfortunately, what starts out as a simple and straight forward mission, spending a few days in the lap of luxury, turns into a nightmare fuelled fight for survival as the soldiers begin to experience increasingly hostile encounters with a supernatural force haunting the site. A supernatural power believed to be linked to a Nazi occult ceremony that once took place in the very same castle and saw it’s previous occupants brutally murdered when the Nazis took over.
Ghosts of War is currently included on Netflix as well as been available to buy from Amazon and Amazon’s Prime Video platform.
What type of genre is the film?
Ghosts of War is classed as a supernatural horror title.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from Vertical Entertainment’s YouTube channel -
When was Ghosts of War released?
Ghosts of War was released in June this year (2020).
How long is the film?
Ghosts of War has a run time of ninety-four minutes.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Ghosts of War?
Please be advised that there will be spoilers ahead. However, I will make a note in italics when they are over if you wish to scroll past.
What looked like a fantastic and engaging World War 2 horror, with a fantastic trailer, great cast and excellent theme was let down by a very poorly structured story that starts out fine. It builds the pacing, sets the atmosphere, works on immersion to lure you in and really ramps up the scares and tension in a grand manner. Then, about two-thirds of the way through the film. Everything that has been worked so hard for with the World War 2 environment is thrown out of the window. And it turns out the soldiers involved are all hooked up to an artificial simulation in modern-day America after having been severely injured in Afghanistan. This ruined the entire story for me, and the film took a substantial dive as the more the modern day was brought into the film, the more ridiculous and far fetched the story became. What started out well structured and enjoyable by the end truly felt as if it had lost its way.
Although when looking at the World War 2 aspects of the film and the modern-day, you can see what the writer and director were trying to do - it is executed very poorly and dare I say was utterly unnecessary. What had also been a very decent level of acting also took a nosedive for half-assed delivery of lines, over the top reactions and just cardboard tier acting all around for the majority of the modern-day scenes. Another severely annoying aspect of the film was that the film did not actually have a clear cut end. But instead implied the cycle would just restart as the surviving soldier was put back into the virtual world. Meaning we never found out what happened to the actual supernatural entity haunting the soldiers.
Had Ghosts of War stuck with its World War 2 theme, entirely skipped the modern-day nonsense and had a legitimate ending I believe this would have been a genuinely fantastic film with a solid 4, if not 5 banana rating.
The spoilers end here.
Apart from the points mentioned above, I thought the film was mediocre at best when taking in its entirety. The acting was on point, the delivery, for the most part, was excellent. But the story needs some serious work. I will just add from a personal point of view, it was fantastic to see Theo Ross (Kirk) in the film as I loved him in Sons of Anarchy and Luke Cage. If you have not checked them out, they are both available on Netflix too, and I can highly recommend them.
Overall a disappointment that could have been so much better were it not for a messy story and specific events (covered under the spoilers). If you are into horrors and especially supernatural horrors, I would say it is worth a watch but take the ending with a pinch of salt.
What rating would you give Ghosts of War?
I would rate Ghosts of War as a 3.2 out of 5 bananas.
Ghosts of War starts out in a brilliant way that lures you in, gets you invested in the characters and has you on edge as you awaited the next brutal vision of the family when they were murdered by the Nazis. Or jump scare as the supernatural forces come for our fearful protagonists. But in the end, fizzled out to little more than your run of the mill film that got visions of grandeur but was unable to deliver. I would recommend the film to horror fans as worth a watch as some parts are enthralling. But just wished it had continued on as it had started as it could have been a solid 4 (or even 5) banana rating instead of the mediocre 3 it received.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in Ghosts of War and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion. You can find the film’s listing on Netflix here. Or on Amazon here.