A Mushroom Trip Worth Taking: A Review of Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England

Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England (2013) is a British historical (although revisionist) thriller shot entirely in black-and-white and set during the mid-17th century English Civil War. The film is a gumbo concoction odyssey that breaks free of the historical thriller genre through the use of experimental film techniques: mixing humour, horror and hallucination, with a dissonant kaleidoscopic audio score—an homage to 60s psychedelia. Having seen Sightseers (2012) last year at TIFF, and Kill List (2011) before, seeing A Field in England at TIFF this year I was expecting Wheatley’s usual brand of gruesome violence through fairly straightforward storytelling.

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