All Quiet on the Western Front

All Quiet on the Western Front ★★

Why can't horror get taken seriously at the Oscars but torture porn disguised as historical drama earns nine nominations, including Best Picture?

Tell me how this isn't a slasher movie: We meet a few teens, spend all of five minutes getting to know them, and then watch them getting brutally hacked to bits in increasingly creative fashion. (You won't see the fork kill coming!) The only real difference is that the relentless violence is intercut with armistice negotiation scenes that don't include any blood but do include Daniel Brühl getting pee on his shoe, for some reason.

It's a "message movie" with nothing to say beyond the extremely obvious—war is hell and kids die needlessly and arbitrarily—so all that we're left with is carnage. This is torture porn in the truest sense, and if the Academy is going to shower it with noms, then I'd at least like to revisit Hostel: Part II, which honestly had a lot more on its mind.

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