The Necromancer (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Necromancer (2022) Review

Horrorific content by Rdcraig on April 08th, 2022 | Movie Review | Survival, Cursed, Supernatural, Madness, Thriller

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It's about a group of soldiers hoping to avoid the horrors of war by trekking through a forest which turns out to be much, much worse.

The Necromancer was directed by Stuart Brennan and stars Marcus MacleodStuart Brennan and Mark Paul Wake.

There is evil inside all of us.

The Necromancer (2022)

Everything about The Necromancer is startling. Whether it’s the film’s use of daylight and bright colours, the gorgeous lingering landscape shots of verdant European countryside, or the nauseating, blood-drenched death scenes. The whole film is as beautiful as it is genuinely upsetting. Written and directed by Stuart Brennan, The Necromancer draws you into its unnerving world slowly and efficiently.

The opening battle scene sets a violent precedent right at the top of the film. The horrors of war laid bare as merely the introduction to the film. Subsequently touching on themes of battlefield PTSD, the soldiers hatch their plan to avoid further horrors and decide to head home for England. Brennan allows these early scenes to play out in their own time, investing in his setting and characters. The stunning cinematography drifts effortlessly from natural landscapes to plant life close-ups, highlighting the natural space whilst allowing the film to breathe. Meanwhile, a fantasy infused, historical epic score evokes a Tolkienesque tone. The inspirational folky strings blend the genres seamlessly, which complements the sumptuous visuals elegantly, gently luring you into its world as the characters begin their journey through the Black Forest. The gentile aesthetics are matched by the incredibly efficient characterization of the soldiers, so that when the horrors begin to rear their head, the viewer is completely invested in the plot and characters. When the horrors do begin, the film’s use of bright colours is absolutely dazzling and the bold decision to have the entire film set during the daytime is as impressive as it is seemingly effortless. The borderline psychedelic visuals facilitate this sensation of being transported to an ancient land of natural evil to which all of humanity is ultimately powerless.
The whole cast are great, but The Siren of Memory, played by Victoria Morrison, is a standout – as disturbing and horrifying as she is alluring, she is perfectly balanced as a personification of mother-earth. Mark Paul Wake also is wonderful as Injured Charles, a fellow soldier the troop stumble upon, whose development throughout the film is frankly staggering.

The Necromancer crosses several genres, bringing historical epic together with fantasy horror, it exploits many of the themes common in folk horror and is unashamedly bold in its death scenes and moments of terror. Stuart Brennan really puts in the work to establish his characters and world, which makes the horrors that await them all the more effective when they begin to unfold.

Worth Watching?

I absolutely loved this film, and if you are interested in the historical or folky subgenres then you will too. Your patience will be rewarded.

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