Henry’s review published on Letterboxd:
When you’re making a war film you have to do something to show a new perspective because there’s only been so many things to say about the same wars. All Quiet on the Western Front does the best thing possible by using this setting and it’s gruesome exploits to depict the horrors of war. It would be accurate to call this a horror movie with just how intense and horrifying the battlefield is. The makeup work was incredible, you could hardly tell the living soldiers from the dead ones because every character looked like a zombie. I also loved the stark contrast between the pristine living conditions of the people in charge and the uninhabitable conditions of the people carrying out their bidding.
The performance by Felix Kammerer as Paul was the through line of the whole film. He is the perfect perspective to view this from because of his initial excitement and the eventual regret he faces when forced to kill. By the end we see his humanity stripped from him and have our hearts ripped out of our chest as we see his life taken just as he is about to reach his freedom. War film can often feel redundant telling the same stories over and over, but All Quiet on the Western Front is a masterclass in historical filmmaking is certainly worth checking out.