The Reckoning: A New Action Hero Is Born

The Reckoning is a adventure horror film directed by Neil Marshall. The plot sees Grace (Charlotte Kirk) be accused of witchcraft after she turns down the sexual advances of her landlord, following her husband’s death. Needless to say she is horribly and violently tortured by the local Witch Finder General (Sean Pertwee), but Grace stays strong and refuses to confess.

I think the story is well done and fits nicely into the genre. It won’t win any prizes for writing though, as the Me Too metaphor is a little too on the nose and has about as much subtly as a Michael Bay explosion. I understand that Marshall and Kirk wanted to use this film to take aim at some of their Hollywood enemies, and that is far enough, but don’t claim that is has nothing to do with that when it very clearly does.  

The costume design is strongly done and the scenes with the Devil in them, yes that’s right whilst on the inside Grace is tormented every night by the Devil demanding her soul, are easily the strongest from a design perspective of the film. Looking at the Devil character here reminds me that Marshal has always handled creature design well: with some of the best examples of my point being Baba Yaga (Hellboy), and the werewolves in Dog Soldiers.

Kirk is a strong lead, and a believable ass kicker. I thought from an empowerment perspective, that she was yet another sorely needed female action hero, with the final scene of this film begging for the sequel treatment. We need to see Grace reunited with her kid after all, or maybe just hunting down some more evil doers- I’d happily watch either.

Overall, top tier Marshal even if the metaphor is a little too on the nose. Marshal really is one of the most underrated directors working today.



The creature design

The ending and the sequel set up

Sean Pertwee

It is more of Marshal doing what he does best


The Me-Too Stuff is way too on the nose, and obviously inspired.


Reviewed by Luke

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