Monday, May 10, 2021

The Reckoning (2021)

Streaming Services: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: The Reckoning (2021)
Genre: Action, Thriller
Length: 110 minutes
Rating: NR
Production/Distribution: Fourth Culture Films, BondIt Media Capital, Buffalo 8 Productions, Moviebar Productions, ADS Service, Best Film, Capelight Pictures, Cinemundo, Eagle Entertainment, Italia Film, Metropolitan Filmexport, Njutafilms, RLJ Entertainment, Shudder, Storm Pictures Korea, Vertigo Releasing, Volga
Director: Neil Marshall
Writer: Neil Marshall, Charlotte Kirk, Edward Ever-Swindell, Antony Jones
Actors: Charlotte Kirk, Sean Pertwee, Steven Waddington, Joe Anderson, Suzanne Magowan, Ian Whyte, Callum Goulden, Sarah Lambie, Leon Ockenden, Emma Campbell-Jones, Mark Ryan, Bill Fellows, Oliver Trevena, Indianna Ryan, Emma Holzer, Cal MacAninch, Rick Warden, Jordan Long, Maya Chityll
Blurb from IMDb: Evelyn, a young widow haunted by the recent suicide of her husband Joseph, is falsely accused of being a witch by her Landlord after she rejects his advances.

Selina’s Point of View:
My first thought is that The Reckoning was a little messy.
I was worried that it might be formulaic going in. It wound up not following any one recipe too close, but the path it took was still not great.
The scene at the beginning of the film ran so much longer than it needed to. It failed to bring any emotion up in me other than boredom. It was just a bunch of flashbacks and melodrama that didn’t really mesh into anything remotely watchable.
That was kind of the theme of the flick: melodrama. Everything was just so over-exaggerated and shoved down the viewer’s throat. It was unnecessary.
The movie also repeated a lot. There was the same sex scene flashback shown several times. By the time it meant anything, it already felt gratuitous. The torture scenes also felt mostly pointless. I get why they were included, they were used to show the main character’s resolve, but they weren’t done well.

The Reckoning would have benefited from a bit more editing. About 30 minutes of it could have been left on the cutting room floor and the only side effect would have been a better product.
It wasn’t all bad, though.
It did pick up a little near the end.
Although the conclusion felt too neat for the story they were telling, I kind of liked it. It was accidentally campy, but if I remember anything from The Reckoning it’s going to be those final parts.
There’s nothing more to say, really. The Reckoning just wound up being pointless.
Let us know if you disagree. You can find it on Shudder, this May 13th.

Cat’s Point of View:
As the credits rolled for The Reckoning, I was left with a feeling of somber satisfaction. This was not quite the movie that I was expecting. In this case, however, that wasn’t disappointing. I was surprised, sure, but I think we got a better movie as a result. Anyone who is dead set on watching a tale of supernatural horror, however, might find themselves disgruntled. The trailer seems to tease that it might be an element involved, so it would be easy to expect something like that – especially from a Shudder release. I know I did.
This story comes across as a mix of the book The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1908–1994), Arthur Millar’s (1915-2005) play The Crucible (which has had several cinematic adaptations), and Braveheart (1995).
The narrative in this film was strong and fully encapsulates the time period of the Black Plague in Europe; as well as the sweeping atrocities of The Burning Times as panic, superstition, and zealotry gripped the land. People – especially women – were persecuted and killed just for being different, because someone didn’t like them, or because of unfortunate coincidental circumstances.
It resonates with the climate of the world today. People are still persecuted for being different, even though there have been great strides taken towards equality and acceptance of diversity – it just isn’t nearly enough. It only takes a little to spark a conflagration of finger-pointing and mob mentality – it was true then, and it is still true today. We can still stand to learn some lessons from this time period. People might not be burned at the stake anymore, but the modern-day equivalent can feel so much worse and do as much harm.

I could rattle on about that for hours, but I’ll spare you. Studying the witch trials and the like has been an interest of mine dating back many years to when I first heard the phrase “Burning Times” – which is another long story for a different day.
I digress…
I absolutely adored the strong female lead here in Charlotte Kirk (Vice, The Depths, Oceans 8). I haven’t paid close enough attention to her in previous work she’s been in. This movie caught my attention, however, and she has a new fan. I’m looking forward to her future work. I loved the steel in her eyes and how she threw herself into this role.
The settings were phenomenal, the effects were well executed, and the music was gorgeous.
The Reckoning is one of those movies that makes it well worth having a Shudder subscription and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys period drama or tales about a woman with grit and substance.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 21%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 37%
Metascore – 31/100
Metacritic User Score – 4.7/10
IMDB Score – 4.6/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

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