Complete A-Z list



Stars: Rob Devaney, Patrick Carroll, Daniel Stewart Sherman, Izzy Diaz, Julie Thiery, Mike Figueroa, Ty Jones, Kel O'Neill, Bridget Barkan

Director: Brian De Palma

After Cloverfield and Diary of the Dead another video 'record', but this time of events even grimmer and closer to life.

In Iraq, the US soldier's chief enemy is boredom (unfortunately a portrait of boredom, however effective, tends to engender boredom itself). Edginess causes them to treat civilians less well than they might - and with some cause, as we see when one of their number is blown to bits after falling into an old abandoned armchair.

Stung by such local atrocities, and emboldened by the father of the household they've targeted having been taken away for interrogation, two soldiers of particularly low IQ submit to baser instincts and set out to rape the man's 15-year-old daughter (Zahra Alzubaidi). 'We're gonna go back to that house,' resolves instigator Flake (Carroll). 'She's a spoil of war.'

Eagerly accompanied by leering lardbag BB (Sherman), McCoy (Devaney), who intends to rein them but finds he can't, and Angel (Diaz) who records this, like the rest of the film, on his camcorder, they not only rape the girl, but kill her - and the rest of her family, setting fire to their home.

Whether they're brought to justice isn't clear.

Unflinching performances chillingly emphasise the amorality of the perpetrators and the anguish of the man who stood by. You may think it better viewing for late-night TV than the cinema - it's hardly entertainment in the general sense - but the movie, shot on location in neighbouring Jordan, does hammer home the appalling 'collateral damage' of a war.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Optimum. Technicolor.
90 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 08 Mar 2008