War is hell

Nothing beats a horror movie set during the war.
War, as the saying goes, is hell. Which might be why horror films which use war as their playground as so terrifying. There’s already death and carnage going on – how hard would it be for supernatural forces to wreak some havoc? They also say six is the devil’s number… so here are our six favourite horror films about war.

Shadow in the Cloud

During the depths of World War 2, a bomber ferries a passenger holding a mysterious package. Nothing too horror-ish about that, right? Just a plane full of troops and a mysterious passenger (played by Chloë Grace Moretz). What makes this a horror film, however, is that the package in question holds something truly supernatural, and before long, this flight is being assailed by… well. A monster. Suddenly, we’ve got soldiers dealing with the supernatural, and a bonkers masterpiece of a war horror film is born.


What’s one thing that would make war much, much scarier? Zombies, obviously. In Overlord, it’s the eve of D-Day, and a group of US paratroopers parachute behind enemy lines into a Nazi occupied village. Things seem pretty routine until they discover a lab, where terrible experiments have been carried out. Before long, they’re not dealing with living, breathing Nazis. They’re dealing with freaking zombies.

Ghosts of War

It’s the end of World War 2, and five battle-hardened American soldiers rock up to an absolutely stunning French chateau. It’s been abandoned, so we’re guessing it’s a pretty nice place to hold up, right? Wrong. Turns out it used to be Nazi high command. Not only that, but as the night rolls on, it turns out the place is haunted. A haunted Nazi base, with only five exhausted soldiers there to battle threats from the beyond.

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is a brilliant and surreal film about the effects of war once you’ve long since left the battlefield. Tim Robbins plays Jacob Singer, a US postal worker having nightmarish hallucinations about his time as a soldier in the Vietnam war. Unable to discern what is and isn’t real, he spirals into madness, and the film begins to structurally mimic what it would be like to fall apart during war flashbacks. Brilliant, frightening viewing.

Starship Troopers

From Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, Starship Troopers is basically a deadpan parody of what a propaganda-heavy action film would be like if it were made by a war-obsessed society fighting giant space bugs. Sounds insane, right? But Starship Troopers is a genuinely compelling war film full of shocking violence, huge, looming monsters, plus is raises questions about the morality of war.


Based on the epic comic book series Hellboy, as well as it’s multitude of critically acclaimed spin-offs, Hellboy stars David Harbour (Stranger Things) as big red himself. Why is it a war film? Well, because Nazi scientists are the ones who summoned Hellboy, and much of Hellboy’s time is spent dealing with Nazi experiments and the fallout from Hitler’s twisted scientific endeavors. And as for horror… he’s literally from hell. How much more horrific can you get?

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