I liked Outpost 11. For all its vague plot points and unanswered questions, it chilled and intrigued enough to keep focus on what was happening.
Set in an alternative past that has a bit of the steampunk about it, we’re introduced to three soldiers deep within the Arctic Circle where they are manning a listening post. We have the young Albert, not quite fit for the army in the eyes of the older and war-torn Graham and the man in command, Mason.
The trio live day by day in the isolated environment waiting for something…anything to happen but it never does. Weeks and months go by until one day, a warning light goes off.
Unsure of what it means and with no other contact from command, they men continue their work. Then they receive a message that when decoded reads: “God has forsaken us. Abandon all hope.”
It’s all downhill from there as the trio’s mental states begin to deteriorate caused by bizarre events and phenomena. Has God forsaken them or is it something even worse?
Outpost 11’s quality hinges on two things. Firstly, the performances from the cast. Other then some old black and white movies, there are just three characters and actors in the movie. Each part of the same war, under the same command but with varying outlooks on things.
The one everyone will remember is Graham played by Billy Clarke. A lifetime of war and countless horrors has left him a damaged individual and his devotion to king, country and God is both admirable and terrifying. He’s also very unlikable because of how he picks on the younger Albert (Joshua Mayes-Cooper) who just isn’t up to scratch in Graham’s eyes.
Albert is a likable character as it quickly becomes clear that no matter what he does, it will never be good enough in the eyes of Graham. This frustrates Mason, played by Luke Healy. An affable character who wants them to get along and has to intervene constantly. However, his desire to go out and hunt, just to get away from the outpost sees him forced to leave the pair alone time and time again.
The dynamic between the trio is interesting and often tense. It’s edge of your seat stuff as you’re waiting for Graham’s next big explosion aimed at Albert.
The second thing that makes Outpost 11 a quality watch is the trippy visuals and horror. There’s a constant undertone of dread throughout, especially if you’re familiar with outpost style movies. We know things are going to go wrong but it’s the manner in which they do that fascinates.
What it is and how it causes what occurs isn’t made clear and that is a little annoying. Is it supernatural? Related to Omega Machine that powers the facility? Or is it an enemy tactic? We’re none the wiser by time the end credits roll.
It’s forgivable though because Outpost 11 is a lovely mish-mash of worlds and is genuinely unsettling. Something that is heightened by an impressive score.
It could probably do with being a little more focused on one particular thing though. This is a world that you really want to know more about and you’re left feeling a little hungry.