Outpost (2007) Review
Written by: BlackTequilaKiss
Nazis and bloody deaths, the perfect combination. Right? Well... maybe, maybe not. It depends on your taste in the horror genre. Outpost is a film that defies most movies currently saturating the market. It is nicely paced, it has comedic elements in a roundabout sense and plenty of beautifully shot moments.
Originally brought for a family member at Christmas, I asked to borrow it and was never asked to return it. I, in a nice sense, obliged their every word. How could I not? It was a fantastic little film that I enjoyed and got much joy from watching.
If they ever ask for the movie back I will say it was stolen by squirrels. In the end, now I have the movie, I refuse to let it go.
Storyline: War ravages through Eastern Europe as this goes on, a battle hardened team of mercenaries are off on a mission. Surrounded by hostile forces they fight their way to an half century underground Nazi bunker. As they become acquainted with the surroundings, they realise it was a place where soldiers were experimented on in hopes of creating a super human army. The mutilated remains of those soldiers still remain along with another horrific discovery, a survivor. Attacked by horrifying forces, they are protecting another secret. One that the team might not survive through and that could forever change the face of the world if unleashed...
I admit I was unsure. There are flaws, the scares and jolts are not constant and I was worried it would be a let down in an otherwise good category of British horror. Boy, this gal is glad she was wrong! Yes it starts off slowly but gears up a crank from scene to scene all culminating in a fantastic finale and some nice mysteries pressed throughout the movie.
The cast are particularly a delight. No women, just a bunch of tough men who are reduced through the course of the movie, to quivering wrecks. However they have enough charisma and enough chemistry between them to make the journey worth it, make the time up until the truth flow easily. We believe in the plight of the characters, we connect to them so it is easy to become invested in them very quickly.
Too often I talk of the actors separately too add some depth and give a little more insight toward the style of the film. Yet I cannot with this film. The cast comprising of: Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Richard Brake, Paul Blair, Brett Fancy, Enoch Frost, Julian Rivett, Michael Smiley and Johnny Meres all deliver stand out performances. They each have distinctive personalities that mesh together nicely and didn't clash throughout the film. Stevenson playing the leader of the pack keeps that machismo about him that makes him such a definable character. But through the course of the movie he begins to display emotion and show a vulnerable side, considering he is known for the harder roles it is a nice counter balance that allows us to get to the root of the character. They all performed brilliant roles.
Let's make no bones about it, this it is low budget affair, so two elements of the film truly surprised me. Cinematography and the score.
Outpost's score was quite beautiful. Not like many others but unique in style and approach. Unusual that in some scenes that it is void of almost any music that is usually generated to emote emotion, it keeps away from the atypical and does not fall into the cliché of the simple. I liked how shock scenes were silent so the shocks were more concrete and lapping between the scary scenes was a quiet overtone. Instrumental music that heightened the mood and kept the flesh of the movie moving well.
Horror movies are a mixed bag when it comes to cinematography. Sometimes over done, other times obvious and in rare instances, quite gorgeous. This falls between obvious and gorgeous. There are moments when it shows promise and times when it seems rather convoluted, over done and unnecessary. Where it lost some magic was underneath, once they are inside the bunker.
It is common practise to make dark, underground surroundings look haunting, look wearied and tired. It's no shakes that many movies do this but when they try to take the basis of other movies it can be rather too known. I respected the way they attempted to layer the beneath but it all had a samey feel that did not have the effect it wanted.
What worked though was outside of the bunker. In the upper scenes, where they lay on the ground trying to survive the forces around them, it is quite sweet. The looming trees over head against deep rich grass, the night and lights illuminated through the forest, much like a light searching fruitlessly, it was beautiful. Not over forced or done it looked effortlessly sweet and that was to the credit of Steve Barker whose direction was fantastic throughout the course of the movie.
Surprisingly the special effects were not often. When done right they looked fantastic, some scenes involving the undead was tastefully done but much of the special effects were kept mostly in the darkness. Added element of surprise? A little, a few cliché scares but overall done well.
Like I said it suffers from flaws, the plot is good but takes a while to establish itself, there are some dull moments but overall this is a good little flick that has great chemistry and a cast who cares about their craft. Do I recommend it?
Nazi ghosts, plenty of gun power and a film that has some nice art to it. Hell yes! It's not amazing but it is fun and what more can you ask of a movie. It will keep you entertained and is a great ride into the unknown. I loved this movie and I suggest you take a chance. Have fun y'all! Kisses.