Black Death: movie review

'Black Death' is a garishly violent action horror film that leaves little to the imagination.

Sean Bean stars in 'Black Death,' an action horror film set in 14th-century Europe.

Set in the 14th century, when life was cheap, Christopher Smith’s “Black Death” is a moderately creepy, often garishly violent action horror film frontloaded with heretics, Christians, mercenaries, witches, witch-burners, and necromancers. There’s something here for just about everyone, or at least for everyone who looks back fondly on the similarly themed “Wicker Man” from 1973.

Sean Bean heads up a band of cutthroats hired by the Church to infiltrate a village rumored to be plague-free. If the rumor is true, it could look bad for Christianity, since the villagers are apparently pagans. As a young friar torn between his religious vows and his ardor for a hometown lass (Kimberley Nixon), Eddie Redmayne is far more evocative than the role requires. If anyone ever decides to remake Shakespeare’s “Henry V” again, Redmayne’s your man. Grade: B (Rated R for strong brutal violence, and some language.)

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