New Horror Releases: Hybrid Horror: Trench 11 (2017) Reviewed

Violence is contagious. Yes, it is. 

Deep in the trenches of World War I lies an experiment that must not escape into the world. If it's unleashed, it could change the concluding moments of the war and sway the planet's future towards something unbearably grim. Years before the Nazi regime, the German military has been experimenting below the surface. When things spiral out of control, a group of military operatives must infiltrate their bunker and destroy whatever hell might be awaiting them. The baseline plot is so obviously familiar but serves the purpose of a lower budget horror offering. 

Using claustrophobic elements of John Carpenter's The Thing intertwined with the cavernous mood of The Descent while still maintaining some original survivalist headway, Trench 11 is a totally entertaining piece of revisionist history that turns the Germans into meddling scientists about to lose control of their experimental work. With a totally misplaced synth score that calls back to Carpenter yet again,  this movie feels like someone was just having fun trying to create an amalgamated horror project. Even with its flaws, the practical effects and gore are totally captivating. 

It's not going to win any high awards for originality, but based on tone and some excellent visual work, this little movie is worth a watch if you're a genre fanatic like myself. Luckily for most viewers, the pop culture references and nods are enough to keep this interesting for 90 minutes. Trench 11 manages to be several movies all rolled into one as the creators reflect on their influences. Paying definite tribute to the creature effects and designs of The Thing, the wizards behind Trench 11 definitely had their work cut out for them and they deliver on all aspects. Even the scenes of bullets tearing through human flesh are hyper realistic in their presentation. 

If any complaint could be made towards Trench 11, it would be that the characters are one dimensional and devoid of much background or development. Like so many other movies, the soldiers are cardboard cutouts that only serve the purpose of being cut down one by one. No one really carries the film as most of them are just lambs to the slaughter. Not one person supports the minimalist story and there's no real central focus on making anyone the hero of the cause. However, this is meant to be a brutal, hardcore, horrific sub-genre flick and it delivers on most fronts. 

If you're looking for something different and love war horror where people are trapped below the surface as things go awry, Trench 11 is a fun bit that will satiate your thirst for onscreen blood. Again, it's not perfect by any means but it fills a niche that seems to be growing this last two or so years.