It’s gonna be a good old fashioned witch hunt at the Fantasia Film Festival 2010 when Chris Smith’s latest film Black Death spreads its plague and we’ve got two new stills to get you down with the sickness!
“Medieval England is dying, infected en masse with the first wave of bubonic plague. A fearful monastery dispatches young monk Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) to lead a witch-hunting knight (a chillingly cruel Sean Bean) and his mercenaries on a journey to a remote marsh that somehow, against all reason, has been left completely untouched by the plague. Necromancy is suspected. They arrive, and are taken in as friends by what they quickly realize is an openly pagan village. As they infiltrate the community they fully intend on destroying, terrible truths are revealed. Nothing is what it seems. And God will save no one.
With such films as SEVERANCE, CREEP and TRIANGLE (shamefully abandoned to direct-to-video oblivion—seek it out, it’s phenomenal), Christopher Smith has built quite the reputation as one of Britain’s leading up-and-comers of the fantastic. Smart and utterly frightening, BLACK DEATH takes this always-interesting filmmaker to a whole other level. In ways, it’s a partial descendant of one of the greatest U.K. horror films ever made, THE DEVILS (which in a black twist of fate is also screening in this year’s fest), a work with which it shares numerous disturbing themes, alongside the also-British WITCHFINDER GENERAL. Riveting and gasp-inducingly violent, brought to life with a solid cast that includes David Warner and Carice van Houten, BLACK DEATH is an atmospheric nightmare shrieking with horrors both physical and philosophical. It’s a fascinating morality play that frequently shifts concepts of right and wrong as good characters do inexcusable things, bad characters do good, acts of violence are at once justifiable and indefensible, and ideals give way to instinct, then back again. You will regularly be shifting allegiances with characters you think you like or loathe, and once situations spiral out into full-on fury, you’ll barely know which way is up. And that’s when the blood really begins to flow. Smith’s dependably intelligent directorial flair gives the film an earthy, personal feel, making the hellish proceedings all the more compelling. Easily one of the best horror films of this year, BLACK DEATH will corrupt your senses and leave you trembling in darkness, contemplating the true nature of evil with blood in your eyes.”
Look for the film to debut at the festival on July 23rd at 9:15PM in a special premiere hosted director Christopher Smith and producer Philip Robertson. Click on the Fantasia banner below for more info!
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