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DVD Review

DVD cover

Viking: The Darkest Day


Starring: Michael Jibson, Mark Lewis Jones, Marc Pickering, Christopher Godwin, Elen Rhys and Joshua Richards
Distributor: Signature Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 04 November 2013

When the Vikings attack Hereward’s monastery, the young novice monk is one of the few survivors. Tasked with bringing the Holy Gospel of Lindisfarne to safety, he sets off across land alone, closely pursued by the Vikings who believe that he carries an object which will bring them great power...

A Viking Saga: The Darkest Day (2013 - 1 hr, 26 min, 24 sec) is an independent film, directed by Chris Crow, who co-wrote the script with Graham Davidson.

It’s always interesting territory heading into a small film with no frame of reference. The movie did not turn out to be what I thought. I was expecting a project somewhere in the region of a bad television movie, what I got was a well-crafted tale.

The film is a combination of road and coming of age movie. Along his path to safety Hereward (Marc Pickering) is joined by the able warrior, Aethelwulf (Mark Lewis Jones) and Eara (Elen Rhys). The two act as both his teacher and his conscience.

At the start of his journey Hereward is convinced of the power of his religion, even though he is continually confronted across the land by poverty and starvation. His belief in the book's power is total and yet his travelling companions teach him that some things are worth fighting for in a more concrete way.

The film has a small cast; in essence four Vikings are chasing three people across Wales. That said, the script is well realised and the cast engaging. The costumes add to the level of realism, as does the cinematography, which makes the world look washed out and grim.

There are a couple of fights, but that isn’t really the reason for the film, it is the tale of Hereward turning from the insular world of the monastery to take on the greater concerns of the world he finds himself in.

The disc delivered was a screener, so I cannot comment on what the final product will be. The picture was suitably pale but with good detail.

Having seen the DVD cover, it’s more likely to turn you off the film, which is a shame as the movie is a well-produced independent.


Charles Packer

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