Deathwatch (2002)

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Deathwatch: Directed by M.J. Bassett. With Jamie Bell, Rúaidhrí Conroy, Mike Downey, Laurence Fox. In the middle of World War I, nine British soldiers caught behind enemy lines seek refuge in a complex network of German trenches. What they soon discover is that they aren’t alone – and it isn’t a German soldier that’s hunting them down.

“u0026quot;Welcome to hell,u0026quot; are the eerily prophetic words, complete with shells, atmospheric all-is-not-right music and the groans of dying men, a hint of whatu0026#39;s to come. After the battle, out of the fog and into a German trench, the men of Y-company discover thatu0026#39;s exactly where theyu0026#39;ve landed. First of all, the place is deserted. And strewn with (mutilated) corpses of German soldiers. All dead. Except one (Torben Liebrecht), who warns them desperately that there is u0026quot;quelque chose de malu0026quot; in that place, and to get out as soon as they can. Naturally, they all ignore him, except for Shakespeare (Jamie Bell). Soon, it proves true when the men start turning against each other, or getting sucked into the earth with barbed wire, or tying each other up à-la-crucifixion.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWell. After two years of watching this in the making, it hasnu0026#39;t disappointed (thank you, Mr, Bassett). Great set-up, with the rain, the rats, trenches and mud to make Spielberg weep with envy. While the script could use some work (u0026quot;whatu0026#39;s the matter with this place? Whatu0026#39;s happening?u0026quot; asks one -rhetorically?), the acting keeps the characters from becoming walking clichés, especially Jamie Bell as the unwelcome greenhorn, or Hugo Speer as the duty-bound Sgt. Tate, to name a few. The suspense was average and wasnu0026#39;t so scary that thereu0026#39;d be lost sleep over it, nor was it anything over-original. But itu0026#39;s a great piece of ensemble casting (iu0026#39;d pay the admission again to see Hugh Ou0026#39;Conor say the f-word), cool FX and steady directing make it a good viewing.”


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