Black Death (2010)

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Black Death: Directed by Christopher Smith. With Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, John Lynch, Tim McInnerny. Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is given the task of learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village.

“Set during the period of English history when the Bubonic plague spreads death across the land, a troubled young monk named Osmund is recruited by a band of soldiers to investigate a village that remains untouched. What they find there will change them forever.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHaving enjoyed Christopher Smithu0026#39;s previous movies (u0026quot;Creepu0026quot;, u0026quot;Severanceu0026quot; and u0026quot;Triangleu0026quot;), I had high hopes for u0026quot;Black Deathu0026quot; and was not disappointed. Although the gore of his previous movies is still evident during the battle scenes in which arms are severed by swords and heads crushed by maces, itu0026#39;s largely underplayed here with the script placing greater emphasis on the storyu0026#39;s themes of faith, religion, superstition and love. It is this emphasis, along with the various twists in the plot, which make the choices faced by the characters in the third act of the movie so very interesting.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI was repeatedly reminded of the original u0026quot;Wicker Manu0026quot; whilst watching u0026quot;Black Deathu0026quot;, not only because of the central theme of a devout Christian confronting something terrible which attempts to challenge and undermine his own beliefs, but also because of the cold, bleak cinematography reminiscent of a seventies horror movie. The entire production is nicely directed and Smith utilises his horror knowledge to keep a constant and oppressive threat running throughout the film, regardless of the scene, to maximum effect. The visual effects, whether for the symptoms of the plague itself or for the various wounds suffered by the characters, are also excellent.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe cast are universally fantastic, although Sean Beanu0026#39;s towering performance – portraying the leader of the soldiers and a man u0026quot;more dangerous than pestilenceu0026quot; – steals the movie. Eddie Redmayne does well in the central role of Osmund and manages to make his characteru0026#39;s personal journey both interesting and believable, whilst Carice van Houten is also memorable in an important role during the second half of the movie.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI was very impressed by u0026quot;Black Deathu0026quot; and would recommend it to those who enjoy atmospheric horror movies such as the aforementioned u0026quot;The Wicker Manu0026quot; or u0026quot;Donu0026#39;t Look Nowu0026quot;, as well as those who seek out movies set in or around this period of Britain such as u0026quot;In The Name Of The Roseu0026quot; and u0026quot;The Reckoningu0026quot;. Although parts are grim and even upsetting, itu0026#39;s never dull and is definitely a movie worthy of your time and support.”


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