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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 12 July 2014
This is a down & dirty, low budget, British/German co-production that demands to be seen! If you're a fan of movies that take you into some dark & unpleasant places, without resorting to relentless gore, then you must buy this! The cast are excellent; the few fight scenes are visceral & exciting; the setting is suitably grim & the soundtrack is superb! It's also less than a fiver! Nuff said!

Additional: Cast includes; Sean Bean, who may or may not die in this; David Warner, who's always worth watching; Carice Van Houten, who is more famous now for 'Game Of Thrones;' and Eddie Redmayne, who has since gone on to win an Oscar. Just thought you'd like to know.
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on 13 July 2017
Good Product. Excellent. Thank you *****
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on 7 May 2017
Very good Blu-ray DVD and is a very interesting story. Very good value for the money. This DVD is highly recommended.
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on 24 May 2017
Brilliant film, I adore Sean bean
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on 6 February 2016
Really enjoyed this movie.
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Despite being sold on its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it theatrical release as a fantasy action movie and often being lumped in with Season of the Witch as a poor man’s Medieval horror flick, Black Death is a rather more interesting drama that at once looks at the superstition and paranoia that accompanied the spread of the Bubonic Plague in the Middle Ages through Medieval eyes while also allowing the audience to see beyond mere face value. Eddie Redmayne’s young novice monk, already torn between his vows and the girl he loves, agrees to guide bitter knight Sean Bean and his uncouth band to a village in the marshes untouched by both plague and god, where there are rumors of the dead being raised and unholy rites being practised by a necromancer they are to bring back to stand trial and be executed. As they journey through the plague-riddled land into the heart of darkness, they find instead an idyllic village that seems very much at peace. Appearances, naturally turn out to be deceptive, but is there a supernatural agency at work or is it simply two different systems of belief – Christian and atheist – who believe that the only way to protect themselves from supernatural evil or a vengeful deity is to destroy the other?

The film does a good job of playing with perceptions of various characters as good or bad as they lose or gain some small moral high ground and, despite a distinct sense that something Wickerish this way comes in this bout of general witchfinding, doesn’t quite go as you expect. Everything ultimately has a logical explanation and, as with Edward Woodward’s ill-fated trip to Summerisle, both sides are equally passionate and sincere in their beliefs, albeit with one notable exception in Carice van Houten (whose accent only slips when she raises her voice) who offers either a supernatural or a rational explanation depending on what gives her more power and creates more fear. Even the ending remains ambiguous, with a vague hope for redemption but an expectation of damnation. It’s all conveyed in a surprisingly simple and straightforward narrative that rarely stops to discuss the heavy stuff but is happy to leave it as subtext as atheists and Christians alike rationalise their descent into violence. While it never quite manages to summon up enough unease to really draw you in enough to become a classic, it’s still quietly ambitious and intriguing enough to keep you hooked and hopefully earn it some small cult status in future years.

A decent extras package on the Blu-ray includes audio commentary, deleted scenes and making of featurette.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2010
Of course we have no real way of knowing what the fourteenth century was really like but in this film set in the time of the Black Death director Christopher Smith portrays a grim land stalked by plague and an evangelistic Christianity that is entirely believable. Eddie Redmayne plays Osmund; a novice monk, who has already been tempted by the sins of the flesh and is in love with a local girl called Avril whom he sends away into the forest to escape the plague. His own plague is the doubt that he is a good christian and just as he asks God for a sign so arrives the Bishop's envoy played by Sean Bean. Bean is perfectly cast as the soldier tasked by the bishop to investigate reports of a village in the marshes which has escaped the plague by turning away from God and worshipping a necromancer. Edmund is recruited as a guide and joins Bean's crew of mercenary soldiers on their mission. The English countyside is beautifully portrayed in muted colours throughout and the people are rough, unwashed and authentically portrayed. There is no stylised combat in this film, when violence breaks out it is realistic and brutal and very believable. Eventually the group reach the village which is a picture of order, cleanliness and health but hides a dark secret. Want to know more? Then watch it, this is a good medieval adventure and one of Sean Bean's best roles for a while.
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Grimly realistic in places, surreally strange in others; this mediaeval mud-and-martyrs movie escapes the limits of its low budget to deliver a violent yet surprisingly intelligent tale of religious intolerance amid the horrors of the bubonic plague.

Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne give typically gritty, emotionally charged performances as a crusading enforcer - determined to bring witches to 'god's justice' - and a young monk, confused by the conflicts between his faith and earthly desires.
The filming is poetic in places, set in strange, almost mystical landscapes. Yet the fight scenes feel brutally realistic, hacking and slashing without let or hindrance. The handheld shaky-cam effect gets a little tiresome, and there are a few unlikely moments which disrupt the narrative flow (like, why does the fair maiden in the plague-stricken village, who has no food, even, possess a really rather nice horse?). The tacked-on epilogue also has the feel of an afterthought, although it doesn't spoil the impact of what came before.
Black Death wields some substantial emotional heft among its witchcraft and sword-wielding -- given gravitas by the actors' performances (the lead witch is really rather good, and even Tim Mckinnery comes over as suitably sinister).

And does the (usually doomed) Sean Bean live to see the final credits? Can't possibly say.
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on 4 November 2010
If you look at a directors CV you can often get a feel for the type of film they make. Christopher Smith is the director of `Severance' and the excellent `Triangle', both genre fare. Throw into the pot the fact that `Black Death' has the trappings of a violent Medievalathon and I thought it was going to be an out and out exploitation pic. I turned out to be wrong as although there are plenty of moments that are gratuitously violent and the prerequisite number of limbs are hacked off, the film itself is a slower paced and almost serious look at how the Church tackled the Black Death in Britain. What happens when a village remains untouched and rumours spread that they are devil worshippers?

The main character is not Sean Bean's Ulric as you would expect, but a Monk called Osmund played by Eddie Redmayne. He is torn between his love of the Church and his love for a local woman. He aids Ulric and his men on their quest as a way of challenging his faith. The film has an authentic medieval feel, although the German money in the film is apparent on the screen with England looking a little mainland Europe at times. However, on BluRay the forests and landscapes of Germany do look fantastic and Smith does a good job of balancing story with a mini travelogue.

The film has a slow pace, especially at the beginning, and grew a little tiresome. However, this allowed for the characters to develop and some of Ulric's men came to the fore. I felt that Andy Nyman as the twisted torturer and John Lynch as the seasoned campaigner came out as the real stars of the film. In the end the film falls between two stools - is it a realistic historic depiction, or a Medievalplolitation film? The answer is neither, it a surprisingly accurate portrayal of people's reaction to the Black Death in Medieval Britain - with added dismemberment.
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The tale is set in the mid 14th century when the 'Black-Death' plagued the land.
It tells of a young 'monk' ( with a secret motive ) volunteering to lead a 'Knight' and his group of mercenaries through the swamps to a remote village that has escaped the plague and where rumours of Occult practices are rife in this land of superstition.
It's a good watch with some scenes of graphic violence throughout this 'dark' tale.
Among the cast -
'Sean Bean' - 'Ulrich'
'Eddie Redmayne' - 'Osmund'
'John Lynch' - 'Wolfstan'
'Tim McInnerny' - 'Hob'
'Kimberly Nixon' - 'Averill'
'Andy Nyman' - 'Dalywag'
'David Warner' - 'Abbot'
Some good action sequences along the way, good picture and sound quality.
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