I’ve always been a fan of period pieces and I know I’ve said this several times here at Nightmarish. Films about war are typically difficult for me to digest but, when you add an element of supernatural horror, it makes the film far easier for me to consume mentally. Although, ghost movies are the only horror movies that actually scare me because I believe in them. The appropriately titled GHOSTS OF WAR by Eric Bress was exactly the scary ghost movie I needed and I had a hell of a time watching it.
One thing I really appreciated about GHOSTS OF WAR was the casting. All of our five primary characters hold a wide variety of acting experience from films like Pitch Perfect, to shows like “Letterkenny”. Tappert, played by Kyle Gallner has had roles in several horror films and that experience shines through firmly in this film. I also felt surprised seeing Alan Ritchson (Butchie) in a role as serious as this considering most things I’ve seen him in have been comedies or family films (“Blue Mountain State”, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I think that he really brought a strong contribution as a character to the squad of soldiers in this film, even if it was brief. The casting for GHOSTS OF WAR was unique and very suitable. Plus they brought in Billy Zane! Who doesn’t love him!?
With the current state of the world, I will say I had a blast watching soldiers kill some Nazis, even if I thought it might be a bit over the top for most viewers in some scenes. However, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love gore in movies. Although the bloodshed in the film was very present, it did feel appropriate considering the time period the film is set. War is savagery and I’m quite sure what I saw on film was extremely mild compared to reality. The heartbreak and trauma have to be worse than anything we could ever see on screen.
Now let’s get into the “scare” component of the film. There are a lot of stories about Nazis dabbling in the occult and that is one thing this film strongly taps into. For those who have seen Overlord, we caught a taste of the twisted Nazi experimentation during World War II. But I felt that is only an ankle-deep exploration of what these bastards did during the war. GHOSTS OF WAR gives us another look at what these sick and arrogant people did to further their reach of power. The haunting presence of Nazi occultism generated the jump scares throughout the film. Typically, I dislike jump scares because I find them to be a very cheap way to scare audiences. However, GHOSTS OF WAR creates a chilling ambiance that made the scares incredibly effective and actually made me tense up periodically during my viewing. There’s a particular scene involving a bathtub, a drill, and some Nazi soldiers in gas masks that gave me quite a fright. Despite these impactful scenes, there were a few scenes with ghosts that appeared a bit hokey to me but it didn’t make the scares any less effective.
GHOSTS OF WAR did an amazing job of playing on the fear of the supernatural and occultism and nailed the time period aspect of World War II. I had a blast watching and it furthered my love for period piece films. Out of all of the new films I’ve watched during this real-life horror movie we’re all living in, GHOSTS OF WAR has to be my favorite film of 2020! There’s a major twist that I don’t want to spoil but it honestly dropped my jaw.
If you’re a fan of war movies and haunted houses, look no further because GHOSTS OF WAR is the movie for you! I would love to see this in a double feature at the drive-in with Overlord, Dog Soldiers, or even We Are Still Here. Please don’t sleep on GHOSTS OF WAR because it’s one hell of a ride!
GHOSTS OF WAR will be available On-Demand and on Digital on July 17, 2020.