A very atmospheric suspense thriller w/ an antiwar twist
A. Sandoc | San Pablo, California United States | 08/03/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A very good horror-suspense film from Great Britain starring Jamie Bell (from Billy Elliott) and Andy Serkis. Set during the height of the trench warfare in the Western Front during the First World War, the surviving remnants of a British Infantry company stumble upon a nearly deserted set of German trenches. Except for a couple of terrified German soldiers, the trench system is deserted with only dead German soldiers. As they spend their first night, it is more than German soldiers they have to worry about, somewhere within the trenches is something that is hunting them down one by one.
It sounds like your typical monster-horror film, but Deathwatch has more supernatural than slasher as its theme than anything else. The one film I can compare this to is Carpenter's The Thing. As more and more of the company dies, paranoia and suspicion grows amongst the rest as to who or what may be hunting them. A very good film that delivers on the suspense and horror. The twist in the end even has an anti-war message that ties in directly with the danger the company has to deal with."
Understated little British horror flick
Kali | United Kingdom | 01/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I liked this film. It was quirky, had a sting in the tale and had a cast of excellent characters, from a young and innocent Private who tries to understand the horrors of war, a man about to loose his faith in God, a solider who wants to survive the war with the minimum of guilt, a dying teenager who has been shot in the spine and unaware of the horrors to come and to a psychotic solider who will kill anyone, friend or foe.
Add to this a German soldier, played with sinister and frightening conviction by unknown actor, Roman Horak and you have a seat of your pants film that you shouldn't watch on your own!
However like many low budget movies, especially those that come of the UK criticism and panning is the name of the game.
Now this REALLY gets up my nose! Come on guys, this isn't America you know, we don't have the sort of greenbacks to pay for state of the art special effects in any movie that is British funded. We have to rely on spit, prayers, private investors and God's good will.
Deathwatch is damn good movie, scary, spooky, well acted and a cracking good horror film.
If you want something more in the line of special effects galore combined with `pants' acting then go out and buy or rent the mind numbingly stupid, `Freddy and Jason' but don't knock a movie because it doesn't have the budget to give it that glossy overstated Hollywood feel.
This is an intelligent film for intelligent people, if you don't fit into that category, watch something else instead."
Excellent mood thriller...very chilling
Laz | Vegas, NV | 11/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm impressed. I watched the first half-hour of this movie and was kinda into it, but not as much as I would have liked to have been. Then I came back a day later and watched the last hour and was pretty much glued to the TV. See, what this movie does is what so many modern horror movies don't do, which is create a sustained creepy mood level throughout. It makes you feel like at any moment something could happen even when nothing much of note is. And THAT is what horror is all about.
Another thing that greatly adds to the mood is that background "void" music. It's like a creepy little brief wind/void sound that really adds to the environment perfectly. I think it's one of the main reasons I was so drawn into the movie. Excellent choice of background sound.
I cannot forget to praise the actual look and feel of the trenches as well. That was the other mood grabber. The trench is almost like its own character.
The special effects are what they are. They're not insulting but not the greatest. But they're used so little it doesn't matter. And since this whole thing isn't in real time anyway that can be used as a crutch reason why. They shouldn't ruin anything for anybody.
I liked the ending a lot and I love the psychology behind it. This is definitely one of the better horror flicks I've seen lately. Kudos to the director for sucking me in and not letting me go."
Soldiers wrestling with the demons of war...or something wor
Raegan Butcher | Rain City, USA | 04/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film is a classic example of how to build an almost unbearable sense of doom and claustrophobia;the trenches of WWI have never looked as wet and miserable in a film; the production design is a major contributor to the effectiveness of DEATHWATCH. The baffling maze of trenches--a nightmare bog of corpses,razor-wire, rats and diseased mud--is such an evocative setting that one wishes the film were all the way up to the challenge of delivering the best horror film in a war setting ever. (Sorry, Michael Mann, but The Keep didn't quite do it) Sadly, Deathwatch doesn't quite make it to classic status either; if a few instances of flashy CGI Special Effects had been allowed to remain unseen and the plot taken in a slightly more psychological direction I would be raving about this movie --it's quite gripping from the start and its sense of damp nightmare horror lingers in the mind after viewing.
Deathwatch makes an interesting comparison to another film with a remarkably similar set-up called THE BUNKER that came out around the same time concerning German Soldiers in WWII. I have a theory that if DEATHWATCH had remained purely psychological and THE BUNKER had gone in the direction of more explicit supernatural manifestations--if both films had traded certain characteristics--each film would be much stronger; as it is I prefer Deathwatch. There are some really creepy scenes and some of the performances quite well done; Jaime Bell does hysteria and ruined youth very well and Andy Serkis amazes with his growling psychotic brute."
Whoa, sleeper flick that's better than you'd expect...
Raegan Butcher | 07/18/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Given that this is a virtually unknown film, I believe it was released in 2002, this is a good watch. Excellent sets and backdrops filmed on location in Prague really portrayed the misery of trench warfare during WWI. Add a creepy twist and the product is this very decent psychological thriller that delivers a wholloping, yet subtle at the same time, visual trip and ending. If you're looking for an easy to understand plot or lots of mindless action, look elsewhere. If you're in the mood for something that makes you think, just a little, and don't mind being spooked a bit, "Deathwatch" is for you. Hats off to the team that put this original ride together, well done and recommended."