If you’ve ever had dreamed of a film where Sean Pertuy rode a horse. To a playful beat in a giant hat towards a blooming organ – and frankly, who wouldn’t? – Then Reliance is right for you. In Neil Marshall’s first film after his poor adaptation of Hellboy. The director returns to the minor horror based in England (and Perth). By drawing on the fictional threads of the Great Plague and 17th-century English witch hunts.
The calculation follows the recently widowed mother.
Marshall’s approach avoids the gloomy and convincing nature of the similar-themed. The wizard-seeking generals and Hammer’s ridiculous entertainment. Rather than ending up in an unsatisfactory halfway between the two. His calculations are well-intentioned. It apparently fixing the ingrained misogyny in the period. And genre but still falling into the trap of becoming what is trying to deconstruct.
The film starts awkwardly with a prologue outlining the context of a plague/witch hunt. Followed by an exaggerated sequence that Grace (played by Charlotte Kirk) and his wife Joseph (Joe Anderson). Recently crossed with Grace, now a widow, to their deceased. Bury, the husband who committed suicide to save his wife from illness. The film’s heart starts with Grace being caught for witchcraft. By filthy Pendleton Pendleton (with notes from Stephen Waddington). Resisting early attempts to tackle his bogus crimes. Pendleton challenges Judge Murcroft (Sean Pertoui). Who we know has burned Grace’s mother on a stake. To turn Grace’s screw, refuse to sleep, and stab Grace with a leg. Pear Of Anguish’s torture device (think dildos from hell).
It was too stylish and clean to be an authentic part of the time.
Subsequently, the film turns into a one-dimensional mind battle because Grace doesn’t want to admit it. Murcroft tries every trick in the old book to force her to admit it. That Pertwee is, ironically, having a great time as a guy. Who, instead of enjoying your job, do your job and put a line. Your nose with gusto (“My desire is greater than you”).
The film could do a lot more with the energy of Pertwee’s big eyes. It was too stylish and clean to be an authentic part. Of the time but not vulgar enough to be played as fodder. Time and again, the story is interrupted by an unnecessary sleep/fantasy sequence. That awakens the demon Grace and fears to deliver a well-executed but cheap scarecrow. Perhaps the scariest thing about The Reckoning is how scary it was. Although designed and produced before Covid-19, there is something supernatural about the outbreak. Be it a sense of social distancing or a crowd mentality leading to persecution.
There is also a Time’s Up lead in the story.
Where women are turned on the gas, are mistrusted, and are abused. And despite all her descriptions of “advancing women,”. Kirk writing scripts with Marshall and Edward Evers-Swindel. She still feels like she’s constantly showing scenes of women being hit. Touched or beaten (there was one attempt. Rape), tortured, and burned (gruesome CG fire replica) for entertainment.
There’s also a woman of potential interest here – Grace’s Bestie Kate (Sarah Lambie), Moorcroft Ursula’s assistant (Suzanna Magowan). It’s a shame because the world of stories is rich in potential for classic horror and modern commentary. Unfortunately, the calculations didn’t work either.
Neil Marshall’s return to his horror hometown excludes Dog Soldiers and The Descent. On the contrary, it is a witch hunt thriller that lacks the texture to be realistic. And the uncontrollable energy becomes messy. But Sean Pertoui was having a good time.