This film is a variation of the 'men on a mission' trope. It is the story of a monk who travels with a group of knights to look for and kill a supposed necromancer during the time of the Black Death in Europe, specifically the year 1348.
Going into it, I wasn't quite sure what to realy suspect, but I had a feeling that this would end up being a cool idea that became a half baked b-movie that fell short of the mark. I'm glad that I'm wrong, because this was a really solid film that was far better than it needed to be.
The fact that there's some substance here is even better. This film is all about guilt, suspicion, faith, and putting beliefs to the test. The time period being used here is suitably appropriate as a result, and, for the sake of cinema, the subject matter also leaves room for flexibility and lee way in terms of specific conten, ie supernatural stuff is okay.
The crew seem to have done some homework. I'm no expert on the time period, but I've taken courses on it. I know the Church too, and, a few minor errors aside, they got that pretty good too. There are a few moments of anachronistic dialogue, but, given the context with how they are used, it's totally forgivable, and it works.
This isn't some heady art film, but it's not a cheapie cast off either. The themes are present, but this is more of a supernatural thriller instead of a heavy dose of intellectualizing. Besides having a decent story and some cool ideas, the film is absolutely creepy and unnerving, and the script isn't totally predictable either.
There's a wonderful sense of atmosphere, and some truly great shots and moments. The cast is good, or good enough. They get the job done, let's just put it that way. Special props though, for the fact that Tygo Gernandt is a dead ringer for Klaus Kinski as Aguirre, especially since this was intentional and not some coincidence.
I didn't absolutely love this movie, but I'm giving it an extremely high B+. I liked how the film gave no simple answers and played with ambiguity, especially moral ambiguity, but I'm not sure if everyone will be cool with that.
You should still see this though, because it's really well made, entertaining, and will give you some things to ponder over afterwards.