I first became a fan of actor Brenton Thwaites’ work from DC Titans.
I worked with Warner Bros. 7 cast & crew interviews where I interview Brenton twice.
So when I saw a film pop up on my Netflix titled ‘Ghosts of War’ and he starred in it, I decided to check it out.
It was cool to see him acting alongside Alan Ritchson, who plays Hank in Titans while Brenton plays Dick Grayson (Robin, Nightwing).
It’s quite the confusing story, but as the film goes on and the puzzle pieces fall into place, it’s very intriguing.
Brenton is part of a small batch of soldiers in France during WWII. They’re assigned to hold a French chateau until reinforcements come to take their place, but backup never arrives.
Instead, a haunting presence makes life very difficult for the group, and they begin to see, hear, and feel things in the supernatural.
What’s beautiful about this film is that it really seems like a war movie turned into a supernatural thriller. But really it’s much more than that.
Nazis do surround the home and you see battle ensue, but the ghosts who haunt the house end up being the bigger threat.
You find out the family of ghosts, the Helwigs, who originally owned the home were tortured and killed by the nazis after hiding fugitives in their home.
Throughout the movie there are cues that tell you “all is not as it seems.” Butchie (Ritchson) gets wounded and is near death on the couch when he wakes up and begins to scream “this isn’t real.” He then dies in the Chateau, but was he ever really there in the first place?
The twist is that the whole movie is a simulation. The characters are actually soldiers, except in a different war.
Instead of WWII, they’re an American squad fighting in Afghanistan where they had all been badly wounded. The Helwigs weren’t completely fake, either. Instead of a French family who was tortured by the nazis, they were an Afghan family who took the soldiers in to hide them from ISIS.
The squad was haunted by the Helwigs because when the family was killed by ISIS, they did nothing. Because of their lack of action, the mother of the family placed a curse of the soldiers.
Quickly after, the soldiers were all badly wounded from a bomb, but were somehow still alive. This is where the simulation comes in.
Each soldier is under a simulation to combat PTSD and amputation, but because Helwig cursed the group, the simulation becomes haunted.
Chris (Thwaites) goes back into the simulation to try and make amends with the family, but the movie ends before we learn if he was able to.
All in all the big twist from this movie is very interesting and makes for a compelling story. It really dives into regret & how the actions we do or do not take can impact our lives.
The group’s inability to act and protect the family turned out to haunt them. Other than a very rich story, the acting is pretty solid and the cinematography was high-quality as well.
While I don’t think this will end up being you’d favorite movie of all-time, I do think most horror, thriller, and wartime movie fans will enjoy this one.
It’s on Netflix right now. If you watch it, let me know your thoughts!