Sunday, October 16, 2022

October Horror Movie Challenge: Pagan Night

Midsommar (2019)
I love tales of the struggle of Pagans against Christianity and the resulting Folk Horror that would later grow up in the aftermath. So tonight are two different movies from two different points of view on the same topic.

Midsommar (2019)

Believe it or not, I had not seen this one yet. I had heard a lot about it, both good and bad, from a lot of people whose opinions I trust, so that was my hesitation. I also wanted to save it for a night my wife and I could watch it. We had been watching a lot of "Vikings" so I thought she might like this. 

The basic plot I think is pretty well known by this point and I really don't want to spoil it. I just want to say that Florence Pugh is amazing in this. She was wonderful both when her character was low (and there is a lot of that, poor Dani) and especially at her highs. The movie reminded me a lot of the original Wicker Man in a good way.

I am also one of the ones that loved the ending. Dani smiling at the end was all about her release from all the toxic relationships she had been in; her sister, her boyfriend, her friends.

I am really, really getting to love the movies from A24. 

Black Death (2010)
Black Death (2010)

During the first round of the bubonic plague in England and Sean Bean needs Eddie Redmayne to help find a village that is protecting a "necromancer" and does not suffer from the plague.

Redmayne plays young monk Osmund who is secretly in love with a local girl. They plan to run off together as soon he can get free, but he wants her out of their village now to protect her.  They plan to meet at a shrine in the woods.  She leaves and Bean, looking every bit like Boromir and Ned Stark, plays Ulrich a man charged by the Bishop to seek out and kill this Necromancer.  Osmund volunteers.

We meet Ulrich's men, a band of cutthroats and killers, who are charged with hunting witches.

They travel through the land with Osmund as their guide. Osmund sneaks off one morning to find Averill but only find her bloody clothes and local bandits.  The bandits chase him back to the camp where they all fight. They manage to kill most of them but the last two make off with their horses.

The band enters the village where no one is dying from the plague.  They are greeted by Hob (Tim McInnerny) and Langiva (Carice van Houten) and then it becomes a game of "Spot the Game of Thrones actor." 

Langiva has all the men drugged while she takes Osmund to see her villagers in full pagan get up raise Averill from the dead. Osmund cries out in terror. Next thing we see is Osmund, Ulrich and the rest all in a pit full of water tied up. Langiva tells them they can go free if they renounce god. Unwilling she starts having them killed one by one. She allows Osmund to see Averill while they tie Ulrich up to horses.  Osmund finds Averill alive, but feeling she is in Purgatory he kills her to free her soul.

Langiva seeing this tells her village this is Christian love and they should have no part of it. She has Ulrich drawn and quartered, but before he dies he reveals to Osmund he has the plague and has brought death to this village. He is killed and in the chaos two of his men escape and pretty much kill everyone.  Osmund chases Langiva into the marsh where she tells him that Averill had only been drugged, she had been alive all this time and it was he Osmund who killed her.  She escapes.

Osmund and the remaining witchhunter return to the monastery and we learn later Osmund left the brotherhood to become a witchhunter on his own and a particularly cruel and violent one.

This one was also pretty good. Carice van Houten was nearly unrecognizable as a blonde but once she began to speak you knew it was her. Eddie Redmayne was great in both aspects of his role, the innocent but fallen monk and the vengeful, hard hearted witchhunter. And as always Sean Bean dies in the end.


It's been a full Pagan and Folk Horror weekend really. This solidifies my desire to maybe do a Coda for the War of the Witch Queens in NIGHT SHIFT.  I might to drink some of my mead to think about it.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022
Viewed: 24
First Time Views: 19

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022

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