Director Ingmar Bergman is a legend in the film world. His works were very nihilistic and meditative in a time where horror films were typically building on jump scares and shock value. He dedicated his craft to shaping an atmosphere that was boding and unsettling. And 'The Seventh Seal' is arguably one of his very best.
A Knight and his squire are home from the crusades. Black Death is sweeping their country. As they approach home, Death appears to the knight and tells him it is his time. The knight challenges Death to a chess game for his life. The Knight and Death play as the cultural turmoil envelopes the people around them as they try, in different ways, to deal with the upheaval the plague has caused.
We encounter the knight as he tries to contemplate the existence of God, the existence of Satan, and where Man falls inbetween. We encounter a village pointing fingers amongst its members, a witch being tried for starting the plague, infidelity, and so much more. It has some stark images that push a scary narrative, but the film doesn't itself contain any real violence or traditional scares. It's more of the type of idea to plant itself into your mind and make you paranoid of your surrounding world.
He has many powerful films available for viewing, and this one along with "The Virgin Spring" are arguably amongst his best. It's a lot of fun to watch and has a lot to say in a time where film wasn't seen as such an artistic platform just yet. But especially in today's age, we have an awful lot to thank Bergman for, and this film is all the evidence and introduction you may need to begin with.
'The Seventh Seal' is currently streaming on The Criterion Channel
'Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra