A devout young monk turns witchfinder...
- Black Death review by RP
I rented this because it was directed by Christopher Smith who also directed 'Creep', the shocker set in the London underground which I enjoyed. Enjoyed? You know what I mean...
Set in 1348, the film is beautifully photographed with a dark, brooding, atmospheric feel. If it's not a historically accurate vision of the 14th Century then it certainly gives a modern day viewer a sense of the squalor, disease, poverty and dirt that must have existed at the time. I haven't seen such a good representation of medieval times since 'The Name Of The Rose'.
As for the content, then it can't really be called a horror film. The fight scenes are well done with much realistic head-bashing and slashing, but apart from a scene near the end that's about the only violence seen, although much is suggested. The film is really about faith and power, and the events that turn a devout young monk into a witchfinder. The characters are of few words, but the acting in the two main roles by Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne provides a surprising degree of character development.
It's not a cinematic masterpiece, but the dark mood and the slow building tension make this a film that I enjoyed and can recommend.
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