Black Death

Black Death

In a apocalyptic medieval world, at the outset of the bubonic plague, a band of brothers and a mercenary priest track down a necromancer who is rumoured to have brought the dead to life. 2.9 out of 5 based on 13 reviews
Black Death

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Director Chris Smith
Cast Eddie Redmayne, Kimberley Nixon Sean Bean
Studio Ecosse Films
Release Date February 2010
Running Time 102 mins
 

In a apocalyptic medieval world, at the outset of the bubonic plague, a band of brothers and a mercenary priest track down a necromancer who is rumoured to have brought the dead to life.

Reviews

The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

I was agnostic about horror director Chris Smith's first film, Creep, but this has an insistent, dour darkness and narrative energy that is very watchable indeed. In a genre I can only describe as Dark Ages Pulp, he has created some very effective entertainment with nods to Michael Reeves's Witchfinder General and Robin Hardy's The Wicker Man... his could well be a minor DVD classic.

10/06/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

There aren’t many British horror films you could call Bergmanesque with even slim justification, but Christopher Smith’s Black Death is out of the ordinary. This stark and often brutal movie lives under a cloud of foreboding, as if waiting out the bad news, close to Ingmar’s heart, that we live in a godless world.

10/06/2010

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Time Out

Nigel Floyd

Set in the plague year of 1348, Christopher Smith’s best film to date is a tale of fundamentalist Christianity, fearful superstition and atavistic paganism. Based on a fluid, intelligent screenplay by Dario Poloni, it marks Smith out as Britain’s most talented, least appreciated genre filmmaker. Striking visuals, confident storytelling, authentically grubby settings and an unsettling moral relativism combine to make his fourth feature emotionally involving, action-packed and thought-provoking.

10/06/2010

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Variety

Leslie Felperin

The cast tackle the pic's potentially arch material with respectful seriousness, and impress -- especially Redmayne and John Lynch in a crucial supporting role as one of the more likable mercenaries.

22/02/2010

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The Independent on Sunday

Nicholas Barber

Black Death may be reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it should find favour with fans of The Wicker Man, Witchfinder General, and any number of Hammer horror films. You've got to respect the blood and thunder of Dario Poloni's screenplay, as well as Smith's commitment to squelching, crunching nastiness. No instrument of torture is left unused.

13/06/2010

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The Observer

Philip French

It's a solemn affair, atmospherically staged on German locations, that aims for but does not achieve the Seventh Seal of approval.

13/06/2010

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

Everything is rather good in a style that Tarantino would call “getting medieval on your ass”.

09/06/2010

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The Times

David Halyes

It’s a solid, enjoyable chiller with some nice twists, and Bean’s performance has moments of understated brilliance.

12/06/2010

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The Daily Mail

Chris Tookey

Dario Poloni's script pays tribute to Werner Herzog's Aguirre, Wrath Of God, and British cult films such as The Wicker Man, but fails to bind the ingredients into anything like a plausible or satisfactory narrative.

10/06/2010

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

The film is strong on menace, and its portrayal of the wild countryside with Breughel-like peasants and black-hooded flagellators is persuasively creepy. Also Smith packs in plenty of Middle Ages hacking and hewing, though his striving after contemporary resonance (swine flu, torture in Iraq) is less surely handled. The denouement doesn't deliver the required horror – it's no Wicker Man – and it stumbles through an unsatisfactory coda.

11/06/2010

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Empire Magazine

Dan Jolin

Decent plot is not served well by the core cast, and there remains confusion as to where the audience's sympathies are meant to lie.

13/06/2010

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

The film looks good and Bean and Redmayne carry it along capably — but pestilence is a hard thing to carry off if you’re not Ingmar Bergman.

11/06/2010

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The Times

Kate Muir

Black Death is a nasty, brutish film that is far too long.

11/06/2010

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