A Field in England 2013

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(65) IMDb 6.2/10
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Fleeing from a battle in the English Civil War a small group of deserters are captured by an Alchemist and forced to aid him in his search for treasure he believes is buried in a nearby field. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal the group quickly descends into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia; and, as it becomes clear that the treasure may be something other than gold, they slowly become victim to the terrifying energies trapped inside the field. A psychedelic trip into magic and madness featuring Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen) and Michael Smiley (Kill List)

Starring:
Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
Starring Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith, Ryan Pope, Julian Barratt, Richard Glover
Director Ben Wheatley
Genres Horror
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 5 July 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
Starring Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith, Ryan Pope, Julian Barratt, Richard Glover
Director Ben Wheatley
Genres Horror
Studio SPIRIT ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 5 July 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By DJB1968 on 10 July 2013
Format: DVD
No, it may not be everyone's cup of mushroom tea, but more fool them. This is the most original piece of film-making I've seen for years and I found myself so utterly gripped that when the Film4 premiere finished I immediately flipped over to Film4+1 to watch the last hour again.

While unlike anything you'll have seen before, it does evoke other distinctive and ground-breaking films you probably know - lots of British cult and art-house cinema for sure (including Lindsay Anderson's If) but also influences from much further (ahem) afield. Something in the interplay of cinematography and score brings Leone/Morricone to mind in places. There are visual cues, too, that surely reference the Hollywood western while maintaining a strikingly British feel (for example in its lunatic humour and its commendable preoccupation with pubs).

And if there's a lack of coherence (hallucinogenic experiences - in reality or representation - aren't exactly renowned for strong linear narrative) then there's an aesthetic unity to this film that marks it out as something special. That unity is also strongly felt in the score, the trailers on Youtube and on the Rook Films website, and the poster and other artwork (something tells me that poster will be plastering student accommodation up and down the land very soon).

Very highly recommended if you've a taste for off-beat, British, hallucinatory, sometimes violent, sometimes dementedly funny English Civil War films set in fields. And very highly recommended if you haven't. Like mushroom soup, what harm could it possibly do?
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Swan on 7 July 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Let me start by saying that this movie is not for all tastes: It meanders like one of its shroom-addled characters throughout, giving little to aid the viewer in discerning the story and its mix of entheogens and occultism will soar quite happily over the heads of most people. Kill List, this is not.

If I had to compare A Field In England to anything it would be movies like El Topo or Holy Mountain: Dense, symbolism-rich movies that reward patient and repeat viewers with deeper meaning. Unlike those movies, however, AFIE is a dark and brooding experience filled with frightening imagery and paranoia. It may not be a film to watch whilst experiencing an altered state yourself.

The acting in the movie whilst not outstanding certainly bears relation to its occult horror forebears of the 60s and 70s - Films such as The Witchfinder General and Blood on Satan's Claw - hammy but not buttock-clenchingly so. I must state that Michael Smiley was fantastic, garbed in cape and hat and wielding a flintlock pistol, he exuded menace and bad-assery throughout, a perfect counterpoint to Reese Sheersmith's performance as a sniveling, cowardly scholar.

The soundtrack is fantastic, an ominous mix of traditional folk, simple drum rhythm and dark ambient that aids in the drug-fueled paranoia motif that carries the movie from start to finish.

In conclusion then. This is not a film for everyone. It is vague, challenging and mystic, and that will no doubt alienate most. But if you have a penchant for occult horror, psychedelic cinema or movies that you can peel back layer by layer then I'd reccommend A Field In England gladly.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Wetherall on 28 July 2013
Format: DVD
Ben Wheatley takes a turn down the sublime and ridiculous in this twisted and darkly comic feature on the English Civil War. Offering no coherent plot strands for the first-time viewer, this is a dizzying tumble into the drug-addled, battle weary mind of war patrons fleeing and journeying across the green pastures of the English countryside on the hunt to find the beacon of solace that is an ale house. En route, they are hi-jacked by two mercenaries and forced to look for treasure that might be buried within the field.

Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley have written this feature but it is less a success of its writing than a triumph of visual technique/s. It is exquisitely and beautifully shot in monochrome. As matters unfold you become more and more convinced that you are in the presence of a virtuoso within his field (pun not intended). This is Wheatley's extravagant dalliance into the realms of the psychedelic, inspiring awe with his control of the medium. Some of the images are genuinely disturbing. In one scene, a man emerges from a tent with a rope around his neck and proceeds to walk out in slow motion. It has to be seen to be believed. It is ineffably haunting.

This is not an easy film and it will certainly not be everyone's cup of tea. It is extremely difficult to pin down and its narrative arc is not probably worth too much close analysis. If you're a David Lynch fan, and appreciate something along the surrealistic lines of Inland Empire (2006) or Blue Velvet (1986) you will surely appreciate the work done here. I imagine it is likely to be a tiring experience for everyone else though, so the characters in this film might not be the only ones looking for an ale house after proceedings fade to black.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Arch Stanton on 18 Sep 2013
Format: DVD
Four men fatigued through their endeavours during the English Civil War meet on the edge of a field. They decide to join forces and desert the surrounding carnage, after one of the four speaks of a nearby inn, they set off through the field in search of rest and comfort. However, as they cross the field, they reach a carved wooden post wound with rope and it turns out that one of the party hasn't been exactly truthful and requires their help in 'dragging in' whatever is on the other end of the line. Which turns out to be a rather bad idea...

Wheatley concocts a visual and audio feast of weird happenings in black and white, as the cast take mushrooms and are forced into going on an alchemical, existential discovery, of meta~physical treasure hunting, and an awakening of the diabolical.
From all concerned in the cast and crew there seems to be both good and bad in equal measure, and as the tale unfolds, delivering us both the sublime and the ridiculous, one at times is left wondering just what nefarious path this film might be leading us down, with it's unsettling and offbeat ideas...
But for those used to enjoying a more conventional method of storytelling may not like what they see. As the viewer is bombarded by what could easily be perceived as a pretentious load of old claptrap, from a director trying to show us how clever he is, by using every 'trippy' little trick he has in his arsenal.
Personally I didn't think that, even though it by no means fulfilled the earliest expectations I had of it (my fault!), from when I originally heard of it's concept. Fortunately (or not) I opted to watch this whilst I was under the influence, and happily went along with all the strobings and kaleidoscopic madness it had to offer.
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