Anazapta review

Hypocrisy, vengeance, the Black Death, and - most chilling of all - a 14th-century village full of people with Shane MacGowan-type teeth.

Director Alberto Sciamma's modest-but-gripping supernatural thriller never looks cheapor plays dumb in its tale of a mysterious French war hostage who seems to be implicated in the plague-y retribution that descends on his captors. Treading a fine line between occult hamminess and the underlying contention that flesh-and-blood human beings can be just as malevolent as Dark Forces, Anazapta rarely loses its balance. It also feels partly like an affectionate homage to the gothic classics of the Hammer-era horror.

Factor in the grim period detail, neat plotting and solid acting - David La Haye as the tortured stranger and horror veteran Jon Finch as the Lord of the Manor with a bloody secret - and you've got something of a nail-chewer.

And that's before the Grand Guignol carnage kicks into gear...

More Info

Available platformsMovie