Published on October 12th, 2012 | by Chris4
23 Horror-themed War Movies for Halloween
If I can philosophize all serious for a moment before I present the list....
In a way, all war movies are horror movies. To an extent far beyond the confines of any ghost story or slasher gore-fest. With your average Halloween-style horror flick, you can get your fix, turn it off, and go to bed knowing that (hopefully) Freddy Krueger isn't actually going to invade your dreams and carve you into pieces with his razor tipped glove.
On the other hand, the fear and often graphic imagery that goes hand-in-hand with war and in turn, war movies, is in fact quite real and unavoidable. When you experience (for example), through the screen, that fear or getting off the landing craft and seeing people torn to shreds.... You know that somebody, somewhere, sometime actually experienced and witnessed this. That, to me, is more horrifying than any pin-covered demon or knife wielding maniac.
That said, here's a list of seven "horror themed" war movies, or maybe they are "war themed" horror movies, I guess the line is a little blurry..... Basically, war movies that delve into the realm of the supernatural, or horror movies that tangentially connect to war.
Happy Halloween! Some of these I've seen and reviewed, some I have seen and not reviewed, and some I've not watched yet.... The differences noted, and reviews linked via the title when they exist. (Descriptions taken from IMDB) And I make no claims as to the quality of these movies, except where I've already noted or linked to the review.
- R-Point (2004) - On 07 January 1972, the South Korean base in Nah-Trang, Vietnam, receives a radio transmission from a missing platoon presumed dead. Later, they find a tombstone telling that one hundred years ago, Chinese killed Vietnamese, dropped them in a lake and built a temple over the place, being a sacred location to the Vietnamese. (IMDB, Amazon)
- The Keep (1983) - Nazis guard a citadel that harbors a dangerous force that starts wreaking havoc and death upon them, forcing an uneasy alliance with a Jewish professional who can stop it. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Outpost (2007) - In war-torn Eastern Europe, a world-weary group of mercenaries discover a long-hidden secret in an abandoned WWII bunker. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Dead Snow (Død snø, 2009) - A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies. [I've seen this one, but its 99% formula horror movie... the Nazi Zombies are fun, though.] (IMDB, Amazon)
- Jacob's Ladder (1990) - Mourning his dead child, a haunted Vietnam vet attempts to discover his past while suffering from a severe case of disassociation. To do so, he must decipher reality and life from his own dreams, delusion, and perception of death. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Deathwatch (2002) - 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. (IMDB, Amazon) [Review posted, I really liked this one]
- The Squad (2011) - (Description is in Spanish and doesn't seem to translate well, check out the IMDB Link)
- The Bunker (2001) - Seven German soldiers are enclosed in one bunker during the Second World War. They soon feel surrounded by enemies. When they hear about the tunnel-system beneath the bunker and some mystic events that had occurred in this place, they soon begin to go mad... (IMDB, Amazon)
- The Devil's Rock (2011) - Set in the Channel Islands on the eve of D Day,two Kiwi commandos, sent to destroy German gun emplacements to distract Hitler's forces away from Normandy, discover a Nazi occult plot to unleash demonic forces to win the war. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Shock Waves (1977) - Visitors to a remote island discover that a reclusive Nazi commandant has been breeding a group of Zombie soldiers. [Bonus - Peter Cushing!] (IMDB, Amazon)
- Pan's Labyrinth (2006) - In the fascist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world. [I have seen this one, and it is an incredible film. Not all that terrifying, but visually impressive and a great story.] (IMDB, Amazon)
- Isle of the Dead (1945) - On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects one young girl of being a vampiric kind of demon called a vorvolaka. [Bonus: Boris Karloff!] (IMDB, Amazon)
- The Devil's Tomb (2009) - An elite group of soldiers on a covert mission to retrieve a scientist from an underground lab encounter an ancient evil in the facility. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Red Sands (2009) - During a mission in the Middle East, a group of US soldiers destroy a statue out of boredom only to then be visited by something the next day. (IMDB, Amazon)
- The Objective (2008) - A group of Special Ops Reservists on a mission in the harsh and hostile terrain of Afghanistan find themselves lost in a Middle Eastern "Bermuda Triangle" of ancient evil. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Osombie (2012) - ...Osama has returned from his watery grave and is making an army of zombie terrorists. When the group crashes headlong into the growing zombie apocalypse, Dusty and the troops must find and destroy the root of the zombie insurgency before it infests the rest of the world. [
HAHAHA I have to watch this one. ZOMG.Meh, not very good at all, actually.] (IMDB, Amazon) Blood Creek (2009)- A man and his brother on a mission of revenge become trapped in a harrowing occult experiment dating back to the Third Reich. (IMDB, Amazon) not a war movie by any definition. Not even that good, really.
- Below (2002) - Strange happenings occur on a WW II submarine. [I KNOW I've seen this before, but seems I didn't write a review up for it.... Drat.] (IMDB, Amazon)
- Zombie Lake (1981) - In a small village, somewhere in France, German soldiers, killed and thrown into the lake by the Resistance during WW II, come back. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Dog Soldiers (2002) - A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Death Ship (1980) - Survivors of a tragic shipping collision are rescued by a mysterious black ship which appears out of the fog. Little do they realise that the ship is actually a Nazi torture ship which has sailed the seas for years, luring unsuspecting sailors aboard and killing them off one by one. (IMDB, Amazon)
- The Jacket (2005) - A Gulf war veteran is wrongly sent to a mental institution for insane criminals, where he becomes the object of a Doctor's experiments, and his life is completely affected by them. (IMDB, Amazon)
- Apt Pupil (1998) - A boy blackmails his neighbour after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal. [Yes, that one, from the Stephen King story] (IMDB, Amazon)
I'd also give an honorable mention to several episodes of the classic TV series The Twilight Zone. I'm not going to go digging up individual episode titles, but several of them revolved around the military and world war ii, and of course, the Soviet menace of the time.
In fact, you could probably compile an entire list of 1950's-1960's "horror" movies that were, in fact, thinly veiled anti-red propaganda pieces... but that's another post for another time.
Did I leave any out? What are your favorite Halloween-time war movies?