Poor Daniel Myrick, he’ll be known as “the guy that did Blair Witch” for years to come (we should all be so unlucky). But after seeing his new film The ob
I really enjoyed this film. I liked the story, the location, the characters and was impressed with the cinematography. And here I thought The ob
OK, it is a who-gets-iced-next horror flick. The members of a crack U.S. Special Forces squad, led by creepy CIA agent Benjamin Keynes (Jonas Ball) and their Afghani guide Abdul (Chems-Eddine Zinoune), get picked off one after another on their super-secret mission into the tribal mountains of Afghanistan in November 2001.
The army guys are believable as tough intelligent professionals and Ben Keynes shows us why they call CIA people “spooks.” Abdul has a family that fears for his life and the film takes the time to show his mother pleading with him not to go with the Americans. The landscape is beautiful and desolate, totally believable as Afghanistan (the film was shot in Morocco) and the locals are flesh and blood and not cardboard cutouts to be knocked out of the way.
This isn’t just a mission to kill some terrorist bad guys; something much more sinister is going on here, and Keynes isn’t talking. A radiation signature has been detected from space by a spy satellite and there is fear that Al Qaeda has got a nuke hidden in the Afghani mountains.
This is presumably the reality under the superficial get-the-terrorists cover story, but like an onion, there are la
Ghost Stories from War Zones
This is a solid story idea that’s got an X-Files vibe to it with supernatural elements of the early (i.e. good) Lost. Fifty years ago, this would have been a Twilight Zone episode. What happens up on the “sacred mountain” is inventive and weirdly unknowable. And that’s the way I like my unknown stuff to be.
At times it’s a bit too much like Close Encounters, and Keynes’ voice-over narrative is maybe too much like Captain Willard’s from Apocalypse Now. Indeed the whole set-up of spook and soldiers going into the heart of darkness is very Apocalypse Now. But it’s not fatal to the film.
What may be fatal is that it’s too timely. If it had come out two years ago when Afghanistan was on Bush’s back burner, the public might have been more receptive... or at least less threatened. Are we ready to be entertained by a ghost story set in a war we’re still fighting? I don’t know. All I know is that The ob
There are interviews with director Myrick and DP Stephanie Martin, and a “making-of” short feature with interesting scenes from the Morocco set.
Picture and Sound
The movie offers great cinematography. Myrick gets in a bit of hand-held night vision realism inspired, he says, from YouTube clips from Iraq and Afghanistan.
How to Use This DVD
Sit back and enjoy the ride.