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Review: TRENCH 11 (2017)

World War 1 will always be associated with trench warfare and the image of troops going “over the top” and storming across no man’s land. But there was another side to it, fought out of sight under the ground. Tunnelers digging their way between the trenches to set off explosives. It was a hellish job, with all the hazards of war plus the constant threat of being buried alive. 

Lt. Berton (Rossif Sutherland HYENA ROAD, POSSESSOR) knows that all too well, having been trapped underground for twelve days. He has no intention of ever going underground again. But when the British pinpoint the location of a secret German research facility, the Wotan Compound, he’s pressed back into service.

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Now he has to lead a small group of British officers and their American escorts into the depths of Trench 11. And while the officers are keeping secrets from the soldiers, even they have no idea of what is actually down there. And the truth is far worse than the chemical weapons they expect to find. When the first German they encounter begs them to shoot him, though, it becomes clear something is very wrong.

TRENCH 11 mixes horror and war films quite well. It seems the Germans are anxious to destroy all traces of the compound as well. So they send troops, including Dr. Reiner (Robert Stadlober ENEMY AT THE GATES) the scientist responsible for the experiments. Between enemy troops and the infected creatures, it’s hard to tell which is the bigger threat. Mixing claustrophobic tension with bursts of action and some effective gore, including an impromptu autopsy,

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The script, co-written by director Leo Scherman and Matt Booi moves at a good pace but not at the expense of characterization. The main characters are well fleshed out and there’s some nice shading of good and evil on both sides. There’s also the requisite dialogue about war and politics, but it’s done in short, relevant scenes. Thankfully, there’s no long-winded moralizing.

An enjoyable exercise in horror, both on and off the battlefield. TRENCH 11 mixes zombies, mad scientists and a touch of paranoia from THE THING. The result is one of the better recent military horrors films.

TRENCH 11 is currently in release in Canada via Raven Banner. Check its Facebook page for further news on other release dates.

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