From Kill List to… A Field in England?

Posted on September 5, 2012 by editor

By Keri O’Shea

We’re probably unusual here at Brutal As Hell in that, when many of our peers were wildly enthusing about the merits of British horror thriller Kill List (2011), a film which was last year’s Frightfest big hitter, we were less keen. Still, judging by a news feature over at Twitch, director Ben Wheatley is planning to try his hand on a period piece…or is he?

Currently under the title A Field In England, Wheatley will be offering up an English Civil War story, where two deserters are captured by an alchemist and forced to help him search for a treasure he believes is hidden in the field where the men are found.

What, so far, could go either way is what follows:

‘Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal, the group quickly descend into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia, and, as it becomes clear that the treasure might be something other than gold, they slowly become victim to the terrifying energies trapped inside the field.’

Personally speaking, I’m a big fan of films which take a historical premise as a starting point for engaging with the supernatural; Christopher Smith’s 2010 movie Black Death is, I think, sadly underappreciated. This is certainly what we might get with Wheatley’s new project, and I’d welcome it if so. The English Civil War period has been used to great effect in other horrors too. The only snag I can see so far relates to the ‘first meal’. Filmmakers can sometimes play a little too fast and loose with the potential effects of hallucinogens, and I’d be disappointed if this motif was used to entirely dispose with structure and coherence…

I will say though, I’m intrigued, and the presence of ex-League of Gentlemen star and horror aficionado Reece Shearsmith is a definite plus.