Outpost (2008)

Director: Steve Barker.
Starring. Richard Brake, Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Michael Smiley, Julian Rivett, Enoch Frost,  UK. 1h 30m.

Military horrors and bunker films have been a unique niche market for some time, when done right they offer a healthy lashing of terror, there hadn’t been much to hit the big screen since Deathwatch, where a team are tormented by supernatural forces in the trenches of WWII, add an element of the occult and science fiction and voila.. Outpost. In this murky horror a team of weary mercenaries are hired to travel into war torn Eastern Europe where they have found a well-hidden and abandoned bunker with a very unusual machine.  The wealthy businessman who picks up these seasoned troops, keeps his secrets close to his chest and while he thinks he knows the ins and outs even he’s surprised by depravity that was carried out by the deranged nazi scientists in the depths.

After being rounded up in a bar, the go-between makes their objective very unclear, it’s a mission that should take 3 days, they need to be on point, heavily armed to protect him at all time and ready for anything, no questions asked, in hours they go home rich(er) men. The only two who have worked together are the leader DC (Stevenson) and the cowboy Prior (Brake) although with the addition of a African militia rebel, Irish loudmouth McKay; an questionable English uniform (Smiley) and a few others they are soon at the site, after establishing a perimeter they enter the bunker, the go between finds his mysterious prize, a huge machine, but then things start to get strange, bodies appear, they assume some ethnic cleansing occurred in the bunker and during the recent conflicts, but one of them is alive, mute and stoic he sits and stares. After being shot at by vintage bullets, the team retreats, strange music plays in the bunkers speakers and unknown threats creep about in the darkness.

While Outpost succeeds to engage with it’s small cast and confined surroundings, the story, while not all that original has a good twist with the addition of this machine that seems to bend time and reality, but the fight against it was weak and lack of violence and blood turns this horror into a ghost story, and lets face it, they aren’t generally all that scary, even when the ghosts are psychotic and immortal nazi’s the horror is quite removed as not many of us find ourselves in deepest darkest eastern Europe looking for machinery from the last war.

It has a lot of charm, Richard Break does what he does best, with his stereotypical slicked back hair, he’s the red neck gun slinger who doesn’t give a shit, but the look and feel of this is very unique to the film, it has this hazy dusk like atmosphere and muted colours really set it into a dreamlike play. It’s a little creepy but with all the guns and potential it’s not as action packed as it could have been, but it’s a deeply interesting story that is presented well, it’s easy to see why this has sparked off several sequels.

Rating 4/10

ROutpost (2008), Deathwatch (2002) R-Point (2004) Borderlands (2013), Dod Sno (2009) The Keep (1983)

L – Military Horrors
5s – Michael Smiley, Ray Stevens, Richard Break
Vs – Outpost Vs Deathwatch

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