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Genre: Horror. Thriller.

Director: Matthew Barber. Nathaniel Barber.

Actors: Nathaniel Barber. Matthew Barber.

Seen at the Dark Red Film Festival

"Two U.S. soldiers plunge into a suspected enemy combatant tunnel system during the Vietnam War only to awaken unparalleled horrors."


War stories have remained a viable means of storytelling across mediums. Regardless of whatever particular global conflict, their relevance comes as a metaphor for that constant personal struggle of man, be it against himself, the environment, or even a crazy monster. 


Sempre Avanti is a quick tale of a tunnel rat - soldiers who raided the underground bunkers of the NVA armed with a flashlight, a knife, and their knuckles. They are accustomed to the claustrophobic confines of the underground. There, darkness and dirt are one in the same and the limited view ahead into the unknown is nearly equal to a lifespan. What a perfect setting for a horror tale and the Barber Brothers deliver. 


Written and starring Nathaniel Barber with direction and cinematography from Matthew Barber, Sempre Avanti presents Diehl, a tunnel rat on a mission. True to his unit’s motto, he presses forward… always forward. Into the dirt. Into the darkness. And there he discovers something that is one with those hellish confines. 


The Barber Brothers make total use of their simple stage and craft a one-man show that is simplistic fun with a deadly tinge. They focus solely on Diehl and reveal the fantastical circumstances awaiting in the tunnel. The cinematography is dark, tight, and fully reminiscent of those Saturday-afternoon creature-features. 


The Barbers also solidly answer the questions raised within. What does one do when confronting a monster, be it personal or otherworldly? Well, Sempre Avanti… always forward.

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