Blu-ray Review – Brimstone (2016)

In the menacing inferno of the old American West, Liz is a genuine survivor who is hunted by a vengeful preacher for a crime she didn’t commit.

Fanning and Pearce are true gems and shine bright in this dark epic. It’s not a film for the faint-hearted or god-fearing – but I truly hope my generation will be able to appreciate a thing of beauty like this and not be disappointed at the absence of Tarantino-like crowd pleasers. This is not a self-conscious meta western, but a real story about human’s struggle with religion, violence and above all man’s fear of women. Koolhoven has given us in the Netherlands something to be proud of again – Cinema with balls that confronts and provokes.

I’m sure many people will be offended, disgusted – and so should they – the world is not as depicted in the Marvel universe, where no action has real consequences. In this time of populism and mass manipulation we need people like Martin Koolhoven who are willing to spend years perfecting their craft – creating fiction that reveals the truth our reality obscures.

There’s a little surprise with the structure which I didn’t know about going in which meant the story unfolded in this deliberately slow burning and really menacing way. As more and more is revealed things get more and more uncomfortable. It sort of starts out as this Cold in July or Cape Fear type pulp thriller set in the old west but as it goes along and things are revealed it becomes less pulpy and more pure evil which is pretty commendable in my book. It’s sort of like pass the parcel where the outer wrapping paper is kinda cool and exciting but once you get to the middle you find a dead rat inside.

Peter Fletcher

Western | Netherlands, 2016 | 15 | 19th February 2018 (UK) | Thunderbird Releasing | Dir.Martin Koolhoven | Guy Pearce, Dakota Fanning, Kit Harrington, Paul Anderson

Special Features
* Interviews with cast and crew
* Deleted and extended scenes

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