piece he wrote for me a while back, but the film seems to do the character justice.
James Purefoy turns in a suitably brooding performance as Kane, and certainly looks the part when he's got his cloak and slouched hat on. The combat sequences are handled well, but the real strength of the film is the atmosphere: bleak, oppressive and unforgiving. The scenery proves invaluable in helping to create this atmosphere - the desolate, snow-bound woods and burnt-out settlements create a real edge of tension. The supernatural elements are also portrayed in a convincing manner - my favourite scene of the entire film involved Kane, an abandoned church, a half-mad priest, a trapdoor, and...well, go see for yourself. It was pretty chilling.
The film's main drawback is that the overall plot is rather linear and predictable. You'll also work out the identity of the masked lieutenant both too early and too easily (plus it's a cliché I could have done without).
Flaws aside though, Solomon Kane is a very enjoyable romp: swordfights, demons, bleak landscapes and a bleaker atmosphere - what's not to like? Even better, there's (hopefully) more to come - this is allegedly the first film in a planned trilogy, with the ending certainly suggesting future instalments. Hopefully that will be the case.
Check out the trailer here.
Provisional Speculative Fiction Top 5 of 2018
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