Last Watch Date – October 16, 2022
Total Times Watched – Three
The first time I saw this movie, I had no idea what it was or what to expect. I was browsing some streaming service looking for anything that looked interesting. At the time, I was watching Game of Thrones, so I knew who Sean Bean was (not that I hadn’t seen him in other things by then). It was too early for me to notice Carice Van Houten, but she is ALSO in this movie. Eddie Redmayne rounds out the cast for folks you probably know by name (though admittedly I’ve never seen anything else he’s been in).
The premise to this is pretty simple: there’s a necromancer returning people from the dead. He must be caught and returned to the bishop. All of this is in the context of the bubonic plague which was, OF COURSE, sent by God. And so you have a blend of history and horror coming together in this lovely tale. It’s not really a unique story as we’ve had “plagues from God” even before Christian times, but it works in this format.
While this is technically horror, it’s more of an adventure movie with horror elements. This movie will scare you if you genuinely believe in the Christian God AND you find pagans off-putting at best. Otherwise, you won’t be scared at all. It has a few gross moments and there’s some combat that has a few gnarly bits, but overall it’s more cool than creepy.
The effects are pretty good for what I imagine the bubonic plague looks like. I don’t know, I’ve never had it. It looks gross though. They all have really sick looking brown teeth. I’m not sure how period correct that is, but I think it’s probably fair to assume at least a few folks had hideous chompers. The village in the marsh was pretty interesting looking as well. I think the only bit of scenery that was questionable looking was the monastery the monk was from. It seemed oddly dark and desolate every time it was on camera.
The pacing is good – you’re not going to be doing any clock watching on this asking yourself “when is this going to end?” It flows seamlessly from start to finish. The ending is possibly even a bit abrupt, but I liked the resolution. It’s a fittingly dark end to a dark movie.
Yeah, check it out. It’s kind of depressing in a good way.