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BLACK DEATH (2011)

A fan of UK Director Christopher Smith (CREEP, SEVERANCE), BLACK DEATH does not disappoint and is a cautionary tale about religious fervor and the things people do in the name of God. 


Set during the middle 1300’s when the plague known as the “Black Death” killed almost half the population of Europe, the plot involves a band of knights sent out by the church to investigate a plague-free village that they believe is protected by a necromancer. 


Led by the no-nonsense Ulrich (Sean Bean), they recruit a young monk named Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) at a local monastery unaware of his doubts about his fate. 


When they finally arrive at the village hidden in the swamps, they discover a peaceful place run by a mysterious woman named Langiva (Carice Van Houten). Convinced she is a witch who has denounced God in order to protect the village, they decide to bring God’s wrath upon them. But the villagers have other plans for the sanctimonious knights. 


Played with deadly seriousness and raising real questions about the role of religion not only in the middle ages but in the world today, BLACK DEATH wades deep into themes of hypocrisy and faith. 


With solid performances by a fantastic cast including a few GAME OF THRONES alums, the film plays like a modern day western or another take of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” 


I like this movie a lot and it’s absolutely worth a look. Though be warned it does get gruesome and bloody at times and has a black cloud of doom and dread cast over the proceedings. But who doesn’t need a feel-bad movie every once in a while, right?

JULY 13, 2014