Faith and superstition collide in this grim, violent, open wound of a
film… set in the Middle Ages at the height of the Plague. Almost all
color has been bled out to depict a distant, primal world in a muddy,
brown palette that makes you feel as filthy as the denizens of this
horrific time — when people struggled to explain their mass
extermination by an unknown force. That gives way to accusations of
witchcraft, and an exterminating posse of Church-sanctioned warrior-
zealots led by Sean Bean. Caught up with them is a young monk whose
faith is sorely tested. Emphasis on sore… via truly ghastly hand-to-
hand combat scenes, sword-severed limbs and drawing and quartering.
And just when you think the movie's taken a turn for the supernatural,
there's a surprise that justifies its truly black ending. NOT a date
movie! — Jeff Schultz

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