From Cinepocalypse 2017: “Trench 11”

trench-11-Coming from the Cinepocalypse festival that just had its debut year in Chicago, we had the chance to see “Trench 11” the new film from Leo Scherman (“White Knuckles”, “Never Forget”), a interesting horror/thriller that have caused some buzz in festivals lately. After seeing the film I can say the buzz is well deserved, so be sure to catch it when is playing near you.

Set in the last days of WWI, the German troops have retired from a front line, apparently fearing an imminent defeat, but some English intelligence have received information about the location of a mysterious underground complex designated as “Trench 11”. This place is located some distance from the now abandoned front, and rumors say that the Germans could have been conducting dangerous chemical experiments under the supervision of the infamous Dr Reiner, also know as “The Prophet”.

Suspecting that this mysterious complex could store a weapon capable of turning the tide of the war, a small group of soldiers, assisted by Berton (an expert tunneler that hopes to leave the war behind) is sent to explore the underground facility, only to find that maybe the German troops left the place not out of fear of the Allied forces, but of something far more dangerous, something that might be still waiting for someone to open the doors.

I really liked “Trench 11” a lot, and although the premise might sound too familiar, the writers Matt Booi and Leo Scherman did a good job to give the film its own voice, creating not only a very entertaining film, but also one that stands out from others with a similar story. Part of this I think was due that there are several characters that you could relate to, without falling into some emotional blackmail, so when bad things start to happen, you actually care for them, the funny part is that in some cases they are characters that you normally should not care for… I don’t want to say more due possible spoilers.

While some other characters don’t show much deepness, they don’t fall into simple cliches either, I found very interesting that although Dr Reiner is sort of the typical mad doctor, he had some very good lines and his speech almost makes sense. (Don’t worry, I said “Almost”)

This is not a typical horror film about infections (note I did not say “Zombies”) it has very good pace, and although it has some jump scares, there were very few an in between, so it does not become annoying. While the film is not filled with gore and tons of blood, it has several cool scenes where the special effects are top notch, so I have no complaints there.

The film have several tense moments that work very well, combined with a music score that normally would feel out of place, mostly by being way to modern for the period that the film is set in, but nevertheless it works.

Verdict: 4.5/5

Directed by Leo Scherman and co-written with Matt Booi, “Trench 11” stars Rossif Sutherland, Shaun Benson, Robert Stadlober, Adam Hurtig, Ted Atherton and Charlie Carrick.

Cinepocalypse had its debut year on Chicago from November 2nd thru 9th.

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