Watch The Reckoning
The Reckoning is a gripping and intense historical thriller set during the Great Plague of London in 1665. The film follows Grace Haverstock (Charlotte Kirk), a young widow who is accused of being a witch after her husband dies of the plague. Grace must fight to prove her innocence against a corrupt and misogynistic judicial system that is determined to see her burn at the stake. Along the way, she discovers powerful allies in the form of a sympathetic jailer (Sean Pertwee) and a disillusioned priest (Steven Waddington). The film begins with a haunting depiction of the plague's devastating impact on 17th century London. Streets are filled with bodies, and fear and superstition grip the populace. In this context, Grace's husband Joseph (Joe Anderson) falls ill and dies, leaving her alone to raise their young daughter. Soon after Joseph's death, Grace is falsely accused of witchcraft by the local landlord, Squire Pendleton (Steven Waddington). Pendleton has a personal vendetta against Grace and sees her as an easy target because of her recent widowhood and her unconventional beliefs. Pendleton enlists the help of a notorious witch-finder, John Moorcroft (Sean Pertwee), to bring Grace to trial. As Grace endures brutal treatment and torture at the hands of Moorcroft, she begins to uncover a sinister conspiracy that implicates Pendleton and a shadowy figure known as The Devil's Master. As she fights for her life, Grace must confront not only the forces that seek to destroy her, but also her own inner demons. The Reckoning is a period piece that is steeped in historical detail and atmosphere. The film's sets, costumes, and makeup are all meticulously crafted to transport viewers back to 17th century England. The cinematography is also striking, with the camera often lingering on the grimy and oppressive surroundings that Grace must navigate. At the center of the film is Charlotte Kirk's powerful performance as Grace. Kirk imbues Grace with a fierce determination and resilience that makes her an inspiring protagonist. Despite the horrors that she endures, Grace never loses her fighting spirit or her faith in the goodness of humanity. Her character provides a refreshing counterpoint to the bleakness that permeates the film. Sean Pertwee also shines as John Moorcroft, the witch-finder who becomes an unexpected ally to Grace. Pertwee plays the character with a welcome nuance that makes him more complex than the typical villainous figure. His scenes with Kirk are among the film's most engaging, as the two actors bounce off each other with fiery intensity. Steven Waddington is suitably slimy as Squire Pendleton, the film's primary antagonist. He exudes a sense of entitlement and cruelty that makes his character detestable, yet he also has moments of vulnerability that hint at a more complicated psyche. Waddington's performance is a testament to his versatility as an actor. The film's supporting cast is also noteworthy. Joe Anderson brings a tragic pathos to the role of Joseph, Grace's doomed husband. Ian Whyte is imposing as The Devil's Master, a towering figure who looms over the proceedings in a menacing manner. And even smaller roles, such as those played by Emma Campbell-Jones and Rick Warden, are imbued with enough personality and energy to make them memorable. Overall, The Reckoning is a harrowing and intense film that explores themes of misogyny, corruption, and abuse of power. It is not for the faint of heart, as there are scenes of graphic violence and torture that may be difficult to watch. However, for those who can stomach it, the film offers a compelling story and strong performances that make it a worthwhile viewing experience.