WarHunt (Action) (2022)
Director: Mauro Borrelli
Writer: Mauro Borrelli, Reggie Keyohara III, Scott Svatos
Stars: Robert Knepper, Mickey Rourke, Josh Burdett, Jackson Rathbone
After a military plane crashes deep within the German Black Forest, a group of soldiers is sent behind enemy lines to recover the secret load carried on board the crashed aircraft. Venturing further into the woods, they discover it is not just any operation, and something supernatural is afoot.
Released digitally and on-demand, WarHunt has all the features of a B-movie, whether Mauro Borrelli intended it or not. Filmed in Latvia, near the city of Riga, production concluded in April of 2020, then edited and further produced by Forma Pro Films alongside Atomik Content, with distribution handled by Saban Films.
As said, the general vibe screams budget, which is fine as long as you understand what you’re in for. To its benefit, it has quite a straightforward narrative without much time for extensive dialogue or deep character development. The discoveries the die-hard soldiers make seem out of place for the Second World War setting and are intentionally so; however, they blend in quite nicely, and it certainly isn’t aiming to be an accurate war film. It’s all about the mystical and horrifying in this case, almost reminiscent of Lovecraftian tales but ever so slightly more grounded, introducing a coven of body-morphing witches instead of alien-seeming creatures.
Seeing former boxer Mickey Rourke appear on-screen again alongside Prison Break’s Robert Knepper was somewhat of a delight. Alongside those more universally-known are Jackson Rathbone, Fredrik Wagner, Lorenzo de Moor, among other fresher faces. And I’ll be honest in saying, performances were generally fine. While the budget shows through in several aspects, locations are limited, as it mostly takes place in a dark forest, and historical accuracy is thin at best. It does what it can, churning out an enjoyable B-movie.
Taking the budget-constrained locations and other aspects that could’ve been improved with more financial supplementing into account, things like the VFX didn’t feel out of place at all, with some actually being quite good. Perhaps it shows development in CGI programs, making it easier for even these kinds of films to produce some tremendous visual spectacle. Still, either way, it is somewhat commendable for Borrelli’s piece. Still, there are certain creative decisions it could’ve done without; slow-motion comes to mind, luckily only appearing in a handful of moments.
To even call it a B-movie might sound disrespectful. Indeed not being an award-winning film for what It seems to be, it is more than decent. There are elements in WarHunt that show such great promise, only falling short in some spaces. The combination of WW2, Horror and Gore is certainly getting a thumbs up from me.
I might’ve been bewitched, but I quite enjoyed WarHunt.