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
Filming took place in Austria, Hungary and Croatia. Most of the principal photography took place in practical locations, with several days committed to filming on greenscreen. Principal photography was completed by April 2009, but the cast and crew re-gathered a few months later to film additional battle sequences, filming on greenscreen to save on travel. The reshoots were directed by Brett Ratner. See more »
The Crusades were the 11th, 12th and 13th century religious military campaigns; so a bit before the 1330's dates at the start of the movie. For example, the Siege of Tripoli lasted from 1102 until July 12, 1109. Similarly, the Battle of Artah was fought in 1105.
But - the plague referred to in the movie is probably the one in the Early Modern period (1340-1400) where Europe experienced the worst human disaster in its history when the Black Death (also known as the bubonic plague) hit was later. So I guess some artistic freedom was used to place two Crusaders in a time of Plague and Witch-hunting (the witch trials were also in the Early Modern period in a period between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries). 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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