We get a lot of horror movies and a lot of period pieces, but how about a horror period piece? That’s kind of what director Christopher Smith is offering with his new film Black Death. The film takes place in 1348 during the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England. It stars Eddie Redmayne as a monk who leads Ulric (Sean Bean) and his band of warriors to a remote village rumored to have renounced God and house a necromancer, someone with the ability to raise the dead. Not only do the men go to battle with ruthless enemies, but they also must evade the plague.
While Smith is certainly a seasoned horror director, he never makes the same genre film twice. Creep is an eerie mystery, Severance a scary comedy, Triangle a mind-bending nightmare and now there’s Black Death, the horror period piece. Even with his years of experience, the first day on the set of Black Death did rouse concerns of how he’d manage to pull this one off. Yes, the visuals matter in every film, but set design and costumes are pivotal in the case of a historical piece. Throw that into the mix with story development, shooting battle sequences and, well, every other element involved in making a film and Smith really had his hands full.
Lucky for him, not only did he adapt quickly to his timely surroundings, but he had an excellent team of collaborators by his side to contribute as he dove head first in bringing Dario Poloni’s script to life. In honor of the film’s March 11th release, Smith took the time to tell Shockya all about his love of the genre, reworking portions of the story, making the film feel as real as possible, working with his cast and much more. Check it all out in the video interview below.
By Perri Nemiroff