A 14th century Crusader returns to a homeland devastated by the Black Plague. A beleaguered church, deeming sorcery the culprit of the plague, commands the two knights to transport an accused witch to a remote abbey, where monks will perform a ritual in hopes of ending the pestilence. A priest, a grieving knight, a disgraced itinerant and a headstrong youth who can only dream of becoming a knight join a mission troubled by mythically hostile wilderness and fierce contention over the fate of the girl. When the embattled party arrives at the abbey, a horrific discovery jeopardises the knight's pledge to ensure the girl fair treatment, and pits them against an inexplicably powerful and destructive force. Written by
Wormwood, the name of the forest where blood is shed in the main characters' journey, is also the name of a destructive entity found in the Bible. This entity, described as a star, is called Wormwood (from a Greek word also translated as Bitterness) and appears to cause a plague-like (or poisoning) effect. From the Book of Revelation 8:10-11 we read "The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water--the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter." See more »
The caption reads "The Coast of Styria". Modern Styria - now a province in landlocked Austria - has no coastline at all. Neither did the Medieval Duchy of Steiermark (Styria in English), which did include the northeastern part of the modern state of Slovenia but nonetheless had no connection to the Adriatic Sea during the era depicted in the film. See more »
nonsensical and unsatisfying ending ruins the film
Nic Cage is becoming the master of these kinds of movies. I'm not talking supernatural thrillers, I'm talking films that themematically start out a certain way and then flip in to the land of complete crap somewhere along the way. (The recent film "Knowing" springs to mind as an example) As the film progressed, I thought it was interesting, albeit far darker then I was expecting. By the end, the story spins off to freaky land and beyond. A movie you think could be directed towards exploring religious fanaticism or even faith itself instead spins in to a supernatural clusterflub of demons and stupidity. The ending and terrible direction absolutely ruins what was a pretty good first two-thirds of a movie. What makes this twice as bad is the fact that it's a "journey" film, meaning that everything that was set up leads to the resolution. In this case, the resolution is nonsensical and unsatisfying and negates just about anything good about the first two-thirds of its running time.
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