Warhunt (2022) poster

Warhunt (2022)


Latvia/UK/USA/Poland. 2022.


Director/Story – Mauro Borrelli, Screenplay – Mauro Borrelli, Reggie Keyohara III & Scott Svatos, Producers – Mauro Borrelli, Adel Nur, Max Pavlov, Igor Pronin, Svetlana Punte, Yu-Fai Suen & Yulia Zayceva, Photography – Eric Gustavo Petersen, Music – Tao Liu, Visual Effects Supervisor – Symon Kania, Special Effects Supervisor – Janis Jakuss-Kreituss, Makeup Effects/Prosthetics Designer – Valentina Visintin, Production Design – Arniss Vatass. Production Company – Forma Pro Films/Berkeley Media Group Limited/Fotocomics Productions/Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej.


Robert Knepper (Sergeant Brewer), Mickey Rourke (Major Johnson), Jackson Rathbone (Walsh), Frederick Wagner (Rucker), Joshua Burdett (Captain Rice), Ben McKeown (Freeman), Terence Maynard (Morgan), Matt Mella (Korsky), Lorenzo de Moor (Gardner), Elliott Wooster (Taft), Rihards Lepers (German Prisoner), Aglaya Tarasova (Venefica), Anna Paliga (Stria)


Germany, 1945. A team of US soldiers under the command of Sergeant Brewer are ordered to go into the Black Forest and retrieve a package from a crashed military plane. As the group sets out into the forest, they come under attack by something supernatural that lives there.

US director Mauro Borrelli has been a regular genre contributor, mostly on the B-budget side. He first appeared with the non-genre Goodbye Casanova (2000) and then entered into genre films with Branches (2004), Haunted Forest (2007), The Ghostmaker (2012) and then started to gain better budgets with the Wesley Snipes-starring The Recall (2017). Subsequent to this, Borelli went on to make the John Malkovich-starring serial killer film Mindcage (2022). Borelli’s earlier Haunted Forest appears to have many elements that are reused here.

Warhunt is a frustrating film. It creates a decent setting – Germany’s Black Forest (in actuality, location shooting in Latvia). The set-up is a variation on the soldiers trapped behind enemy lines during World War II plot of Overlord (2018), albeit with supernatural rather than mad science goings-on. There’s lots of mood, atmosphere and pumped drama as mysterious things begin to happen to the men. Exactly what though is not clear. Indeed, the great frustration of the film is that over half of the running time goes by without any kind of clear idea about what is going on in the woods and who exactly the mystery women that keep appearing are meant to be.

Mickey Rourke as Major Johnson in Warhunt (2022)
Mickey Rourke as Major Johnson

Even when it does become clear what is going on – something to do with witches and magic spell books – it is still awfully vague. There is one nasty scene when the men attack and shoot a pig and happily cook it before the shock realisation that what they are eating was one of their own number placed under a were-transformation spell. This is a real disappointment as a film – the premise and setting sounded great but their transpiring as a series of vague, lightly plotted goings on in the woods proves a big let-down. Better treatments of similar ideas can be found in Bunker (2022) set in World War I, which came out the same year, and especially The Necromancer (2018), which was set during the Napoleonic era.

The surprise among the cast is Mickey Rourke, the former 80s pretty boy who mounted a comeback in the mid-2000s resembling something between The Incredible Hulk and a plastic surgery experiment gone wrong. Rourke has a nothing role as the general despatching the troupe – it’s the sort of filler part that someone like Eric Roberts usually takes.

Trailer here

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