Dutch director Martin Koolhoven (Winter In Wartime, AmnesiA) has been working on an ambitious new feature: a horror/western called Brimstone that has just premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Brimstone is set to take viewers on a nightmarish journey into frontier life, where familiar western troupes are juxtaposed with the sinister sadism of puritanical religion, as a mute wife and mother (Dakota Fanning) must combat the malevolence of a wrathful priest (Guy Pearce).
Koolhoven has chosen supporting actors for his movie that are no strangers to period pieces or the macabre, casting two regulars from HBO’s hugely popular medieval fantasy series Game Of Thrones Three brooding clips and several images from Brimstone have just been unveiled, revealing Carice Van Houten and Kit Harington’s roles within the already accomplished cast.
The Playlist reports that Brimstone‘s director has mentioned the film noir Night Of The Hunter and classic western Once Upon A Time In The West as inspirations for this project, and these atmospherically oppressive clips (shown below) appear to be a taste of the brutality to expect from this movie. The story follows Liz, the mute but resilient woman whose past encounters with her town’s new dangerous man of God (Pearce) make her susceptible to be victimized when her attempts to help a woman in labor go wrong. The synopsis revealed here describes the following plot as: “a nigh-biblical sequence of events involving blood, fire, and an epic years-long odyssey spanning states and territories.”
Whereas the first of these released clips serves as a scene setter for Pearce’s contained but simmering evil and Fanning’s expressive and wordless fear, the second and third clips are not for the faint of heart, as Koolhoven’s fearless exploration into violence are showcased as a teaser for what audiences should expect. The religious flagellation Pearce inflicts on his wife (van Houten) and the clumsy, un-glorified murder committed by Harington are accentuated as both are witnessed by a thirteen year old runaway, Joanna (Emilia Jones).
Warning: The following clips include graphic content
Several new images from Brimstone have also been released alongside the clips. Check them out below:
For fans of unabashedly dark and morose doses of insidious horror, Brimstone looks set to have the uncensored violence and acting talent to pull off this style of feature, along with what appears to be stunning cinematography to aid this malignant atmosphere and display the film’s location to it’s best advantage.
The first reviews of this feature have been as mixed, as would be expected due to the polarizing content hinted at within these clips and images, with the acting from Pearce and Fanning praised for their portrayal of these complicated characters in what is apparently a time-spanning but non-traditional timeline. The film does not currently have distribution in place for the U.S but is due to be featured at the Toronto International Film Festival which should be an opportunity to secure a deal.
We will keep you posted with all Brimstone news as it develops.
Source: The Playlist.
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