When I think of the Vietnam War, that’s a horror story just by itself as there were so many lives lost. When the opportunity came up to a review WANDERING SOUL, a supernatural horror short based on true events from the Vietnam War, I couldn’t pass it up.
Written and directed by Josh Tanner, WANDERING SOUL centers around a ghost story set during the Vietnam War. It is inspired by eerily bizarre but TRUE events. According to the synopsis, it is told from a unique perspective of the ‘enemy’ Viet Cong soldiers in the claustrophobic tunnels of Cu Chi.
This is a terrifying and depressing tale of death, loss, superstition, and pure horror. When I think about war, I think about big military weapons and bombs. Death and destruction. Up until now, I’ve never thought about the use of psychological weapons, which if you think about it is probably one of the most powerful weapons of all. During war you’re already vulnerable. You’re away from home, away from your family, hungry, cold, hot, and never know when you may die or which friend you’ll have to bury next. So mental status is already weary. Using any form of psychological mind tricks is both brilliant and dirty. I was completely shocked at the tools used for this psychological torture and how useful they turned out to be.
WANDERING SOUL takes place mostly in tunnels of Cu Chi. It made me claustrophobic just watching it. As the story continues, the sense of dread, fear, and hopelessness grows and becomes overpowering. Something isn’t right and it’s clear they need to get out.
I think my favorite part is at the end, seeing everything play out. Even when one of the Vietnam soldiers sees that he’s been “tricked”, he still thinks they’re messing with fire. He pleads for them to stop. It’s both heartbreaking and terrifying.
WANDERING SOUL is not your typical horror movie but is very much the definition of true horror in all aspects. I can see why it had a very successful festival run and took home awards. If you something to keep you up at night, this short will do the job!