A well-made movie isn’t always an enjoyable one, but, then again, not every movie is meant to be enjoyable, per-se. Whatever director Christopher Smith’s exact intentions are for Black Death, what we’ve got is a terrifyingly ominous experience bound to put a knot in your stomach. Smith braves the odds and offers something that denies us the hyped action churned out by the Hollywood machine and aims straight for the darkest, most realistic telling possible, which is bound to earn the admiration of some, but be a bit too much for others to handle.
It’s 1348 and the Black Death is consuming scores of the European population. After sending his lover into the forest to escape the disease, a young monk named Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) asks God to send him a sign to tell him if he should go after her. Shortly after, a Bishop’s envoy, Uric (Sean Bean), arrives in search of a man of God to guide him and his men to a plague–free village in the Great Marsh. It’s obvious to Osmund that this is his chance and regardless of the Father’s final foreboding warning, “even if you survive, the world out there will change you,” Osmund agrees to lead the band of warriors into the forest.
However, once away from the monastery, Uric reveals his true plan; they’re not in search of a safe haven, rather quite the opposite. The village is home to people who’ve renounced God in favor of the devil and amongst them is a necromancer, an individual with the ability to raise the dead. While the warriors gallantly and fearlessly ride into the darkness, Osmund holds on tight to his hope of reuniting with the woman he loves.
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