The Reckoning(2020)(Review)[Weirdo Wednesday]
Director Neil Marshall burst into the horror scene with his first 2 features, "Dog Soldiers" & "The Descent". After the success of both titles he began working on more obscure 'epic' things like "Doomsday", "Hellboy" (the new one) and "Game of Thrones". So after such a long stretch into more mainstream territory he decided to return to horror for a new, and creative entry.
"The Reckoning" focuses on England in 1665 during the Great Plague. The streets are littered with filth, disease, and death. Neighbors accuse each other of witchcraft as a way to place blame for the sickness that has decimated the country, leaving newly widowed Grace as a target both after her husband catches the plague and hangs himself, and her landlord tries to sexually assault her. What then unfolds is a struggle between faith, a society riddled with paranoia, and false accusations that will not accept 'no' as an answer.
It starts off as a moody history piece and slowly turns into a fierce, violent uproar of a civilization. We know from the start that Grace has been falsely accused - as was her mother before her - and the entire village crowds around to watch her be tortured for a confession. Very few folk (mostly women) believe she's innocent while everyone else yells 'wretched witch' and cheers as her blood sheds.
The 2nd and 3rd acts almost play out like a medival 'Hostel', which I promise works better than it sounds. As she's held prisoner in the dungeon, they prevent her from sleeping by beating her and throwing buckets of freezing water on her. Due to this, she is plagued by visions of satanic visitations who wants her soul in exchange for revenge.
The production for this movie is insane! It's beautiful and the village is full of life, even albeit decrepit life. The soundtrack and sound design is so crisp and painful. The acting is very well done. And the story itself was much more entertaining than I ever expected.
Honestly, the plot and the screenshots that have been promoted for the last year weren't appetizing in the slightest for myself, but "The Descent" is one of my favorite horror films so I gave this a try. And if I'm being honest.. It blew me away.
"The Reckoning" is a tasteful vision of a heinous time in human history. One full of hysteria and illness of the mind, body, and soul. And in today's current state, The ideas and message still holds strong.
"The Reckoning" is currently streaming on Shudder.
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra