Overview Of: Wartime Horror Film Ghosts Of War Landed On Netflix In November
While Netflix has an increasingly growing library of original content, the streaming service also provides a home to lesser-known indie films.
The World War II horror film is leaving viewers with lots of questions, however, and Ghosts of War’s ending needs to be explained.
Ghosts of War arrived on Netflix in some countries in November after its original cinema release was shelved thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The film tells the story of a squad of five US soldiers who are fighting in France during World War II and are tasked with holding a grand and strategically positioned chateau.
However, there are more than just Nazis to worry about as the squad of soldiers must also deal with the fact that the house is being haunted by the family who lived there previously, all of whom were tortured and killed by the Nazi occupiers.
At first, the soldiers’ mission seems like quite a cushy job, they get to spend several days away from the front lines, guarding a luxurious manor house.
However, it quickly becomes clear that all is not well in the chateau and each member of the squad starts to experience strange goings-on.
A visit from a truckload of Nazi soldiers only confirms that the house is haunted as ghostly figures appear after the German troops have been defeated and squadmate Butchie is left fatally wounded and repeating the words “this isn’t real.”
The squad of troops investigate the strange events in the house and discover that the family who lived their previously, the Helwigs, were tortured and killed by the Nazis after hiding fugitives in the house.
After more ghostly goings-on, the team find the bodies of the Helwig family and bury them, hoping to put their spirits to rest.
However, this only leads to the dead bodies being reanimated and results in Chris, the squad’s captain, waking up.
After Chris is ‘woken up’ the entire WWII premise of the film is stripped away as it’s revealed that he and the rest of his squad are all in a computer simulation.
As Butchie says before he dies, this isn’t real. On top of that, all the creepy messages the squad has encountered turn out to be warnings, telling them that they’re in a simulation.
Instead of being soldiers during the Second World War, the squad are actually modern-day US troops fighting in Afghanistan and all of them have been badly wounded following a mission.
It’s revealed that the Helwigs were not a French family after all but rather an Afghan family who took the squad in when members of ISIS were closing in.
Rather than Nazis being the ones to torture and kill the Helwigs, it’s revealed that ISIS were the ones responsible and there are several parallels drawn between the two scenarios, from the Helwig family photo to the cigars used to set Mr Helwig ablaze.
The reason that the squad are haunted by the events, is that they hid and did nothing as the Helwigs were being killed. The mother of the Helwig family placed a ‘Vetrulek’ curse on them after trying to kill the squad with a bomb.
The Vetrulek curse is said to be an ancient Muslim curse in the film but it’s actually a fictional creation for the film.
We learn that the simulation was made in order to combat the effects of PTSD and amputation but after Mrs Helwig put the curse on the squad, the simulation itself has become haunted.
Ghosts of War ends with Chris going back into the simulation, hoping to do things differently and make amends.
He wakes back up at the point where the film began, with a shadowy figure smoking a cigar.
Whether or not he remembers that this is a simulation is unclear as the credits roll.
Ghosts of War is available to stream now on Netflix in some areas after arriving on the streaming service in November.
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