Wednesday, February 12, 2014

[Review] A Field in England

A Field in England is like a wretched dream that you can't escape from, waking out of it only to drift back into the obscure and monochromatic world precisely where it left off.

Set during the 1600s in a hazy black & white landscape, a small group of soldiers flee from a civil war battle, get captured and tied up by two men named Cutler and O'Neil, and are forced to help search for a treasure hidden somewhere in the field. The film slowly drags like the captors' ropes, making the 90 minutes feel doubly long.

Ben Wheatley's past work is a tad more accessible (but still very off-kilter), from cult/psychological horror Kill List to the maniacal dark comedy Sightseers (a film that would've been an excellent short).

There might be ambiguous messages, murky symbolism, and philosophical ramblings buried within A Field in England, or maybe it doesn't mean anything at all. Surrealism lurches, especially the sky visions and prolonged strobe sequence. It's a lurid and head-scratching experience, and the genre refuses to be defined. All of this very well may be Wheatley's exact intentions, but just because A Field in England is unlike anything you've ever seen, doesn't mean you'll wish you would have.


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