A single muddy West Country field provides the setting for this brilliantly bizarre English Civil War drama and psychedelic horror film from genre-fusing cult director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers), which features a group of deserters, a necromancer, psychoactive plants and buried treasure.
A Field in England
Civil War-era England. The year is 1648. A group of soldiers flees from the battlefront through an overgrown field, only to be captured by the frightening and commanding O'Neil (Michael Smiley, who also starred in Ben Wheatley's Kill List and Down Terrace), who forces the men to accompany him on a bizarre search for a treasure he believes is buried nearby. After dining on mushrooms picked from the field, they slowly spiral into a psychedelic nightmare of paranoia, in-fighting, and terror.
Setting breathtaking visuals against a deeply disturbing story that will surely jar the audience, this film is a departure for Wheatley, and a sign that the filmmaker has matured into a complex artist with an ever expanding palette of ideas to share. With its beautiful, stark monochrome, "tableaux" still shots, slow motion, and a brain sizzling strobe sequence, A Field in England is genuinely experimental both in its visual style and its approach to narrative. Imagine the strange alchemy of Bergman and Buñuel teaming up to remake Culloden, and you can perhaps picture this bold work, one that will mystify and unsettle.
The film features Wheatley's signature
sardonic wit and gruesome violence, but
he also brings a cerebral edge to this trippy take on English history. From social drama
to crime, bitingly comical satire to abject
horror, Wheatley has seamlessly shifted
genres throughout his career, and with A
Field in England he proves he is one of the
most incisive and unique voices on the
international cinema landscape.