Director Ben Wheatley follows up brilliant serial-killer comedy Sightseers with A Field in England, a low-budget, black-and-white hallucinogenic period piece set in the hedgerows of 17th-century England. It’s consistently weird, sometimes indecipherable, and always compelling, from a guy who doesn’t want to paint in between the lines.
As the film begins, Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) emerges from tall grass during a battle, scared and begging for his life. Sent on a mission to find a manuscript thief—a mysterious Irishman named O’Neil (Michael Smiley)—Whitehead is coming up short, and his boss is losing patience. Whitehead soon meets up with three other deserters, including Jacob (Peter Ferdinando) and Friend (Richard Glover). The four decide the war is not for them, and set out to find a place to grab a beer.
The men wind up in the presence of the dreaded O’Neil. He has a human appearance, but might be some sort of devil or warlock. (At one point, he states that he has “conjured” the men, and threatens to turn one of them into a frog.) Friend comments that he isn’t surprised that the devil is an Irishman; the men are forced to dig for treasure; very strange things ensue.
If you are open to something a little (OK, a lot) different, then Mr. Wheatley’s films might interest you. This movie is crazy nuts.
Now available via various online sources, including iTunes and Amazon.com.