THE RECKONING is a new horror movie by renowned director Neil Marshall. However, you certainly wouldn’t know that from watching it. This is so far beneath his usual level of quality that I am, quite frankly, shocked and saddened. Read our full The Reckoning movie review here!

THE RECKONING is a new horror movie by director Neil Marshall, who is actually one of my favorite directors. Or, should I say, he used to be. Now, I guess I’ll stick with stating that he has directed some truly amazing movies in the past. I’ll get back to what he has done in the past, at the end of this review.

As far as this new movie is concerned, it is not worth your time. Fair warning, I don’t have much (or anything) nice to say, and while we’re taught to then say nothing, it would make for a very short review. Let’s just say that this movie feels like a midlife crisis played out in public – and gone terribly wrong!

Continue reading our The Reckoning movie review below.

What happened to you, Neil Marshall?

I kept thinking The Reckoning movie (not to be confused with the very good Reckoning mini-series on Netflix) would somehow turn around. That this very weird (and bad) beginning was just a trick. As if it was something new and exciting meant to lure the audience into a trap before flipping the weirdness on its head.

But no, this movie is just awful. Sometimes more and, for brief moments, a little less. This is so far beneath his usual level of quality that I am, quite frankly, shocked and saddened. It is never a good movie and is in no way worthy of being an official Neil Marshall movie. However, it is.

Apparently, Neil Marshall hated his Hellboy (2019) movie because he didn’t have the final cut), and this new movie should show us what he’s really all about? Well, that just makes me think that he’s lost his touch – and possibly mind – all together.

Admittedly, I am much more disappointed in The Reckoning because it’s directed by a director, I am very fond of. Had this just been a new director – or someone with boring TV movies in his past – then I would probably just dismiss it as yet another subpar production. But The Reckoning is directed by Neil Marshall. Therein lies the real disappointment!

The Reckoning (2020) – Horror Movie Review

The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions…

The second you see the main protagonist of The Reckoning, you’ll see the first major red flags. The character Grace Haverstock might be living centuries ago, but that will not keep her from having perfect make-up and perfectly tweezed eyebrows at all times. Sure, the story is about a woman being accused of being a witch. Also, all the men tend to have both messy hair and beards and be dirty. But not her!

You’ll also get all the gorgeous shots of Grace looking out into the distance. There’s even a grossly misplaced sex scene that looks like something out of a 1980s erotic thriller. Honestly, everything is wrong with this, but it begins and ends with the main character since The Reckoning is obviously made to showcase her.

You realize that this movie is written and produced by its star Charlotte Kirk who just happens to be the new girlfriend (now fiancée) of Neil Marshall. Instead of making sure that this movie was the perfect vehicle to launch the career of Charlotte Kirk, she is now starring in a huge mess and major disappointment of a movie.

And why? Because love does indeed make people blind – as well as deaf and dumb, it would appear.

You can watch The Reckoning on VOD – but you shouldn’t!

It took me all of five minutes before I said out loud “Is Neil Marshall dating the star of this movie or something?” As already stated, yes, he is. This explains so much except why he hasn’t tried to make a good movie for her. In fact, the reason I have loved previous movies by Neil Marshall is exactly that he always tends to have brilliant female protagonists.

He even had this in Hellboy (2019) which is, objectively, a grotesquely better movie. The two are in two different leagues and The Reckoning has neither the plot nor the visual style to be even close. Also, Neil Marshall has been a director on TV series such as Black SailsWestworld, and Lost in SpaceAll productions with tough women in the lead. The Reckoning is an obvious exception.

Neil Marshall has written and directed the creepy Dog Soldiers (2002), the brilliant horror movie The Descent (2005), and the extremely entertaining Doomsday (2008). Most recently, he directed the reboot of Hellboy (2019). I will continue to think of these movies when I think of him. If I could do an “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”-procedure on The Reckoning, then I would!

The Reckoning is out in theaters, On Demand, and Digital from February 5, 2021.

Details

Director: Neil Marshall
Writers: Neil Marshall, Charlotte Kirk, Edward Evers-Swindell
Stars: Charlotte Kirk, Joe Anderson, Steven Waddington, Sean Pertwee

Plot

Set against the backdrop of the Great Plague and subsequent witch-hunts against women, Grace Haverstock (Charlotte Kirk) must grapple with the tragic untimely death of her husband Joseph (Joe Anderson) in a society completely consumed by fear and death. Because she rejects her landlord Squire Pendleton’s (Steven Waddington) advances, she is falsely accused of being a witch and thrown in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. Grace must endure physical persecution at the hands of England’s most ruthless witch-hunter Judge Moorcroft (Sean Pertwee) and face her own inner demons as the Devil himself starts to work his way into her mind.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina
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