I love independent SF / Horror movies that have an existential angle; films that divide an audience; films that require thought, attention and imagination such as PRIMER, The Jacket, The Butterfly Effect [I and III]. I was fortunate to view on DVD a remarkable film last week entitled THE OBJECTIVE, and this movie has settled into my brain ever since.
So what’s THE OBECTIVE about?
Forces in the front lines of the war on terror find themselves battling a foe more deadly than a bomb in this thriller. Ben Keynes (Jonas Ball) is a CIA operative based in the Middle East whose is keeping an eye peeled for a potential crisis a few weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Keynes is checking some readings from a spy satellite when he discovers what appears to be a massive cache of radioactive material in the mountains of Afghanistan. Worried that Al Qaeda guerillas are constructing a nuclear weapon, Keynes arranges to join a reconnaissance mission headed to Afghanistan, using the cover story that he's trying to ferret out an international terrorist leader. Keynes and the soldiers head into the mountains with a local, Abdul (Zindune Chems Eddine), serving as both translator and guide. Abdul warns Keynes and the soldiers that their intended destination is considered sacred ground by Afghans, and that they're risking their lives by trespassing. Keynes pays him little mind, but he and the soldiers soon discover that Abdul's warnings were well founded, and that a supernatural force lurks in the mountains more dangerous than any band of terrorists.
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Co-Written and Directed by Daniel Myrick, best known for his work as the co-writer / Co-director of 1999’s independent smash-hit movie The Blair Witch Project; Myrick’s THE OBJECTIVE is a far deeper and complex movie which can be interpreted in several ways [as to its meaning and the bleakness of its final reel]. Some people hated the movie, which I put down to that fact many people today watch films and expect the film-team to have laid out the plot and resolution out completely; wheras, THE OBJECTIVE requires the viewer to concentrate in order to understand and interpret what they see. Like the ulimate objective of life and death, THE OBJECTIVE offers no clear answers, except [possibly] one, if you care to concentrate.
I strongly recommend you take the time to view one of 2009’s most interesting movies – and as it's on DVD, it is even more intriguing on a second viewing – But a warning; THE OBJECTIVE is really scary.
THE OBJECTIVE - TRAILER
An interview with Daniel Myrick is here
Video of The Objective’s reception at last years Tibeca Film Festival –
6 years ago