Saturday, October 4, 2014

Black Death

It has not been a rip roaring start to Horror Fest. Last year I created a most awesome schedule, something I decided not to do this year because I wanted the freedom of changing my mind. The issue with having freedom - it's harder to make a decision. Instead of knowing what I am going to watch, I'm left to my own devices, which means scrolling through Netflix, wasting time on IMDB, and flicking through all the movies I actually own until something strikes my fancy. Problem is, my fancy is unusually picky this year.

Last night's movie of choice? Black Death.

Sounds promising, no? Well, I thought so. Who doesn't want to watch a movie about whether the bubonic plague is God's punishment? The secondary plot is one where devout Christians (one a Monk!) journey to a seemingly immune town that is shrouded in tales of necromancy and dark forces. Apparently, they are going to capture the ringleader and take him back to the Bishop, or some such tale. I can't be certain because I kept getting distracted by Sean Bean and dreaming of his Eddard Stark days.

Oh, yeah, Eddard Stark is in this. And true to Sean Bean roles, he doesn't exactly meet a happy ending. You know who else is in this? Melisandre, the red woman, also from Game of the Thrones. Carice van Houten. And it seems as though she also is suffering from a bit of typecasting because she seriously frowns on God in this one. Not the old Gods, but 'the' God. The big guy in the sky. She also seems to have some of her priestess powers, since she's raising the dead and all. This might have been the woman the Eagles were singing about. (A joke about the song Witchy Woman)

So, Black Death did have a few things going for it. The plot wasn't necessarily a terrible one. There were some choice actors. Except, once they got to the town, the whole thing sort of fell apart. Sure, there are some excellent gore scenes, including a man being torn apart at the limbs, but for the most part it lacked reasoning. For a movie centring around faith, it actually tiptoed around the serious questions it could have explored, including the reasoning behind this town blindly following Melisandre. The reasoning behind it? Because she was there. Not a fulfilling answer, to say the least.

Should you watch this? Why not. It is entertaining to a degree, just don't expect to walk away understanding it. Neither the religious zealots or pagans have many redeeming qualities and the one character they do take the time to flesh out (the monk) is more two dimensional than three. And not to give anything away, but the big plot twist is - there is no plot twist.

The tagline on the poster made me laugh - Journey into hell. More like, journey into meh. This is not a horror movie, no matter what IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes says.

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