February 3, 2021 The Reckoning (Movie Review)
In 1665, the bubonic plague, better known as The Black Death, struck London hard. A disease spread by rats and fleas, it left the victims’ skin black in spots and the tongue swollen and inflamed glands in the groin. Symptoms also left the victim vomiting profusely and gave them splitting headaches. A plague that lingered, during this grotesque time, a witch hunt hysteria had befallen over England as well. These facts in mind, over the centuries a great amount of movies have been produced about either The Black Death or the witchcraft events, and now Neil Marshall (The Descent 2005, Hellboy 2019) combines the two events with his Horror film The Reckoning.
Released by RLJE Films/Shudder, in theaters and on demand as well as digital on Friday, February 5, 2021, The Reckoning stars Charlotte Kirk (Fractured 2013, Ocean’s Eight 2018) as Grace, a woman accused unjustly as being a witch shortly after her husband fell to the plague. Now left with a home she cannot afford and a baby girl, Abby, she must find a way to keep from being kicked out by the Squire Pendleton (Steven Waddington: Sleepy Hollow 1999, Jamestown series).
Imprisoned by Pendleton, she continues to claim her innocence, but witch hunter Judge Moorcroft, (Sean Pertwee: Tale of The Mummy 1998, Doomsday 2008) is summoned to get a confession of witchcraft from her. Despite both the physical and emotional torture inflicted upon her, she does not cave in, even as she faces the devil himself as he attempts to poison her mind. The question is, will she survive?
A very interesting story, that clearly was well researched, the opening black and white scenes of The Reckoning immediately grab your attention. Furthermore, the flashes of what happened to Graces’ husband as she digs his grave in grievance flow seamlessly with the music, which is phenomenal, thanks to the score of Daniel Kresco (The Dark Knight Rises 2012, Joker 2019). Which leads us to the performances of cast, which are pretty on point. With Charlotte Kirk being the star, she portrays her character in a dark, depressed state perfectly. In fact, you can almost feel her dread and the torture she endures. Meanwhile, Sean Pertwee portrays Judge Moorcroft in a sturdy, ruthless manner that gives you chills with a coldness in his eyes.
All in all, The Reckoning with its amazing cast and crew, is executed justly as well as effectively. A very dark and emotional roller coaster ride, the story will keep on the edge of your seat, and that is why Cryptic Rock gives The Reckoning 5 out of 5 stars.