WWII Thriller ‘Burial’ is Worth Exhuming

Alice Oscura, Featured Writer

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead.

Inspired by the final days of World War II, Burial (2022) is a fictionalised version of the events that followed in the wake of Adolf Hitler’s death. The myth behind what happened to Hitler’s remains has become extremely convoluted over the years. Here British Director and screenwriter Ben Parker (The Chamber, 2017), takes advantage of the mythos and runs with it.

The main story begins in 1991 in London when an elderly woman named Anna (Harriet Walter) encounters Neo-Nazi fanatic Karl (David Alexander) breaking into her home. After overpowering him with a Taser, she chains him to a radiator in her bedroom. When Karl regains consciousness he confronts her with the knowledge of her true identity. She was once a Russian Intelligence officer named Brana Vasilyeva. Karl also knows that her last mission near the end of WWII involved the transportation of Hitler’s body to Russia. Anna paralyses Karl by blowing a mysterious powder into his face and begins to relate the events that took place during her secret mission.

Now the story takes the audience to the year 1945. Berlin is about to fall to the Russian army, and Russian Intelligence Officer Brana Vasilyeva (Charlotte Vega) and a small group of soldiers receive a top-secret mission to transport a six-foot crate to Russia and ensure that the contents are delivered to Stalin himself. They are unable to travel via air due to the high risk of exposure, so they take to the road in the hopes of intercepting a train to take them into Moscow. So far only Vasilyeva and a couple of the senior officers know about the true contents of the mysterious crate, and they are ordered to bury the crate at each stop to ensure total secrecy is maintained. The journey is uneventful until they reach the dense forests on the outskirts of Poland. There the group is attacked by Hitler’s infamous Nazi-Commandos who call themselves “Werewolves”.

The journey is made even more difficult because Vasilyeva has to project a rigid, no-nonsense personality to maintain a modicum of control over her male counterparts who constantly question her authority and put the mission more at risk. The cryptic plot encompasses the question of just how far a soldier was willing to go to fulfill that sense of unhinged loyalty to their leaders. Vasilyeva’s personal goal in all of this seems to be able to validate the death of Hitler by cowardice to the world and therefore quash any idea of the martyrdom of a man who was directly responsible for the horrific deaths of so many innocent people. While on the other side, the crazed loyalists the Werewolves sought to hide the truth from the world that Hitler didn’t just choose the easy way out to avoid being brought to justice. That he had somehow survived for the time being would be enough to reignite the spark of his twisted ideology.

Despite the film’s budgetary constraints, which are particularly noticeable during the night scenes, the battle sequences have just enough blood and gore to ensure that the shock factor remains. One issue that stood out was having the characters speaking in their perfect British English accents. It is a bit of a distraction. It takes you out of the mindset that the main characters are supposed to be Russians, Germans, and Poles. But it is not that big of a deal once the viewer gets engrossed in the story.

Burial has a lot to offer the audience despite its flaws and comes out as a winner because the story successfully explores the negative aspects of horrors created by war without taking up too much time. It gets to the root of the story very quickly and a large part of that is due to the dedication of the cast to their performances.

Alice’s Score: 7 out of 10

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Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump. I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. Read More

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