OUTPOST 11 (REVIEW)
Dir. Anthony Woodley
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
First things first, OUTPOST 11 is not the tenth sequel to the mediocre Nazi Zombie series, yes it is set in the midst of war but rest assured, there will be no groans from the undead here.
Set in an alternate past where the world is still run by steam (no specific date or war but clues suggest it is around the WWII era) three soldiers man a listening post in the Arctic Circle. Awaiting news of the war they are at their wits in boredom and beginning to test each other’s patience. Graham (Billy Clarke) swears by his King and country and the insolence of the young Albert (Joshua Mayes-Cooper) pushes him to his limit with disrespect and lack of discipline. Keeping the peace is their senior, Mason (Luke Healy) who constantly fights between them to settle their differences.
The routine is soon broken when after a length of no contact, suddenly their alarm light begins to bellow but with no sound. Grouping together they search for what has triggered the alarm and unwittingly delve into a world of insanity and madness.
It plays out like the warped child of THE THING and David Cronenberg set against a backdrop of Nine Inch Nails GHOSTS I-IV. The claustrophobic soundtrack of clanging and industrialised machines only encourages the atmosphere of tension between the threesome and makes every minute of OUTPOST 11 as dangerous as the last.
Clarke, Healy and Mayes-Cooper bring together the reality of isolation and when their line between reality and insanity disappears from both them and us. Like many of Cronenberg’s own body horrors, there are some scenes that will just strike bizarre while others will be so realistic, it becomes unclear on what is real and what is not.
Evidentially shot on at least two cameras, the constant flickering between 4:3 and 16:9 gets frustrating at times and you don’t even get the added bonus of an IMAX experience. While the first 30 minutes or so show tension between the leads and the mundane life they’ve been living, it lies heavily in contrast to the rest of the film that shows no root cause to the impending climax, the switch is clicked on in a heartbeat with no reason or explanation.
Yet behind these minor flaws, it is atmospheric and dark, praise Anthony Woodley for his twisted imagination that borrows heavily from some of horrors most iconic films and brings about the feeling that true horror lies in man himself.
A brilliant minefield of psychological warfare, OUTPOST 11 will be stuck in your head for a very long time for being both a slow burning mental breakdown and showing most Hollywood thrillers how to make a suspenseful drama with a minimal budget.