As the black plague rapidly destroys the population across Europe, Osmund (Eddie Redmayne), a young monk, finds himself feeling conflicted by his feelings towards a girl from the village who he urges to head to a community in the marshlands which is said to be free from the plague. When Ulric (Sean Bean) a holy knight and his army arrive at the monastery seeking a guide to take them across the marshes to the village free of the plague Osmund volunteers. It is an eye opening journey for the monk as he witnesses the brutal ways of Ulric and his men with their torture devices and cold heartedness. But on arrival at the village Ulric's true mission becomes clear as they meet Langiva (Carice van Houten) the woman he believes is a witch and who needs killing in the name of God.
My love of movies causes both pleasure and pain because there are very few movies I will refuse to watch. Sometimes you can find yourself watching an unexpected gem whilst other times you may find initial fears of boredom coming true. This is my problem with "Black Death" as technically there is little wrong with this movie, the trouble is that despite being a horror movie the period setting and the period dialogue constantly caused me to lose interest as it isn't my sort of thing.
So as I said there is technically nothing wrong with "Black Death" as it has a very good look with plenty of atmospheric camera work and whilst the dialogue is not my thing the actors deliver it convincingly. And the storyline which sees Osmund struggling with his emotions over the village girl he loves and the calling of being a Monk adds an interesting level.
But as I said this struggles to keep hold of my attention as the sort of heavy focus on the period accuracy does little for me. But there is a surprising upshot of this as every now and them something will grab you attention and it is the shock factor of the suggested brutality. From people getting their necks broken to mass slaughter it is simply attention grabbing especially when the bits in between seem so slow and a bit uneventful.
What this all boils down to is "Black Death" didn't do a great deal for me, it didn't grab me and interested by the unfolding story despite there being nothing really wrong with it. But the shock factor of the brutality worked brilliantly to grab your attention with moments of violence.