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  • Black Death
    • Black Death
    • Runtime:97 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-23 12:02:07
    • Director: Christopher Smith
    • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Horror, Mystery
    • Studio:


I'm not gonna say what happens (therefor not spoil any fun you may have
while watching the movie), but I have to begin with the ending. The
ending that is almost too good for the movie. This may sound crazy, but
that's what I felt while watching it. The movie moves along in a nice
pace, but the ending is really good. And does not fit into the rest of
the movie. It feels like another part, that just got thrown into the
mix, but has not properly infused itself with the gene of the rest of
its parts.

And I'm not talking twists here or story development. While the movie
itself never felt as anything special, just another story, the ending
itself would have earned a higher score (in my book). Up to that point
the actors are trying their best with a thin story, that seems very
predictable (I actually saw one development, revealed at the end of the
movie, coming a long time before it was shown on screen, though that
did not take anything away from its impact in the end). There is
another story lying behind that ending, that might be even more
interesting or could have been laid better throughout the movie (at
least) … but maybe I am bit too harsh. You decide for yourself (if
you like period pieces).


This morbid, but hearty little slow-grinding Gothic period action
horror is something like the "Witchfinder General" meets "The Wicker
Man". Those two are favourites of mine and while it might not reach the
heights of those mentioned films, it still doesn't put much of a foot
wrong. This medieval piece is set during the times when the black
plague ravaged England and a group of mercenary knights along with a
young monk (who's torn between his faith and the affection of a women)
head out to hunt down a Necromancer, where it's believed they're using
their witchery to keep away the plague from their small remote rural

Christopher Smith is an up and coming British director (with likes of
"Creep", "Severance" and "Triangle" behind him) and his next diverse
effort "Black Death" didn't disappoint. While the direction is
descriptively slick and steady (and well photographed), he really
captures the dark, turbulent atmosphere of the period, as the stench of
death and the bleak colouring covers the screen. While conventional in
some story arches (the camaraderie between a ragtag group), it remains
smartly written and jarringly effective by never centralising on one
viewpoint but actually opening up with more stinging questions. The
harrowing back-end is rather despairing and chilling, therefore quite
enthralling due to a central character's delusional mindset. The
violence can be furious, brutal and gusty, but still underneath it all
is a creepy and cruel menace. Sean Bean's ruggedly virtuous performance
sticks out, but there's good support from Eddie Redmayne and an eerily
succulent turn by Carice van Houton whose manipulative presence was
always hypnotic when on screen.

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