Amid the Civil War in 17th-century England, a group of deserters flee from battle through an overgrown field. Captured by an alchemist, the men are forced to help him search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field.
Nearly a year after a botched job, a hitman takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings. What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.
Fleeing for their lives, a small party abandon their Civil War confederates and escape through an overgrown field. Thinking only of what lay behind, they are ambushed by two dangerous men and made to search the field. Psychedelia, madness and chaotic forces slowly overtake the group as they question what treasure lies within the malignant field. Written by
No women appear on screen during the whole film. See more »
[after coughing up stones carved with mysterious symbols]
Well, I have no recollection of consuming anything of the remotest sort.
A man can hold a great deal inside that he does not comprehend. I am not familiar with these symbols, though.
Nor I. I feel... Suddenly empty.
Then maybe you should keep your mouth shut unless something else should rush in while you're not paying attention, because you are apparently nothing more than an envelope.
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An undoubtedly interesting idea- civil war soldiers fleeing a battle encounter madness and witchcraft- directed by Britain's most "thrilling" young director should be a recipe for cinematic gold. The critics found it pretentious enough to unanimously praise, but I -and to judge from the commenters here- many others find it less than satisfactory.
For a start the writing, pacing and direction is far from "Thrilling". The dreary and undramatic opening scene sets the tone badly. We do not see what battle these men are supposedly fleeing and they may as well have been out for a country walk. There is no sense of danger or fear of being discovered and executed for desertion, they merely meet and decide to go to a pub.
What little energy there is in this opening is by having a character f-ing and blinding in a very modern way. This lack of authenticity hangs over the film, the exception being Reece Shearsmith who tries to impart a genuine 17th century earnestness into his part but does not have sufficient screen presence to carry the film.
From the start, the film moves slowly. There is a longwinded description by Shearsmith of his occupation then a rather pointless scene of one of the men emptying his bowels in a field. Nice!
The 'action' begins some 20 minutes in with an opaque and confusingly shot scene of them trying to hand plough a field. Have they never heard of horses?
Being in black and white doesn't help the clarity. I normally love b&w films but I could not see the reason for its use here, except to appear more profound than it actually is. The cinematography is flat and manages to make the English countryside look ordinary rather than beautiful or mysterious.
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