Review of The Reckoning, a film directed by Neil Marshall and set in plague-ravaged Europe, where young women are unjustly accused of witchcraft. Tonight on Rai 4.
An overlay at the end of the credits tells how the witch-hunt caused more than five hundred thousand deaths between Europe and North America: a figure exaggerated as reported by many recent studies, with the real number of victims to be documented actually about one-tenth of the declared total (and once believed to be like that).
Not that this overshadows the cruelty dictated by religious fanaticism, as we tell you in the review the account This historical material is unfortunately perfect for backstories horroras in the case of this 2020 Neil Marshall-directed movie. Hellboy (2019), he tried to return to a more intimate story suited to his cinema, but even on this occasion not everything went in the right direction…
The country you go to, you find charming
the account Set in the year 1665 in the north of England, a country like the rest of Europe has been ravaged by it Epidemicwhere detectives roam from village to village to investigate The phenomenon of alleged magic: As the plague spread like wildfire, people were looking for a culprit—real or fake—and single women or women in secret were often accused of having pacts with the devil. Grace is a young widow who found herself raising her infant daughter alone after her husband fell ill and decided to commit suicide for fear of infecting her or the child. After refusing the insistence of her landlord, she is suspected of a witch and is subsequently arrested and brutally tortured by Judge Moorcroft, determined at all costs to extract a confession from her.
The best movies about witches
Lack of inspiration
Perhaps on paper he wanted to pay homage to an often-forgotten sect The great detective (1969), but the result is nothing more than a pale version of the classic starring Vincent Price. certainly Neil Marshall He seems to have lost for some time the inspiration that led him early in his career to create cult proverbs Descent – Descent into darkness (2005) and Doomsday (2008), not forgetting, of course, the brutal debut dog soldiers (2002). On this occasion also, as in the recent past, in fact, he is unable to find the right interpretation and exploit the available budget, so much so that The Reckoning often ends up screwing up grotesque solutions that impose terrors and supernatural dynamics even when it is not entirely necessary, continues. The Horned Devil makes gratuitous appearances in scenes that are evocative, but highly distorted by context. Underestimation was much better in the aforementioned area Black Death – Journey to Hell (2010), also able to recover a noteworthy environmental scheme despite nearly similar production values.
The eternal struggle between good and evil
Right from the intro, with this alternating montage in which the protagonist intends to dig a grave while a flashback shows us what happened to her lover, we understand how the script is limited to repetition of clichés, mostly delivered through effects that each reflect otherwise also in the actual management. for personalities. Characters are set on the keys to a comic book read, ranging from a detective who couldn’t be more sinister – Sean Pertwee’s interpretation is willing in any case – to a redeemed witch who escaped the stakes as the inseparable evil sidekick. Grace’s search for just revenge, already shaken by a dangerous mourner, lives to crescendo in the thrilling finale, where between a sudden last-minute reveal and unexpected denouement this failed fashion story finally comes to an end.
Witch hunting in a plague-ravaged Europe is the crux of this horror film from director Neil Marshall, who has strayed from the glories of his early career for far too long. As we told you in the review of The Reckoning, we are facing a movie that lacks ideas and content, with the classic situation in which an innocent woman is accused of having connections with the devil and subjected to the most severe tortures at the hands of the inspection investigator. diverts. It’s a pity that the script fails to identify interesting characters and that the use of stereotypes and influence gradually becomes more apparent as the minutes go by, even that encounter closer to action and genre dynamics which, however, comes too late, when the damage is now harder to heal.
Because we love it
- The latter part has some decent genre references, but everything else is missing.
what is wrong
- The story suffers from compulsion and many of the pure horror sequences are forced.
- Budget constraints are becoming more apparent than necessary.
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