Taking place in 1648 England, Ben Wheatley's A Field In England follows a small group of deserters whom are fleeing from battle. Coming from varied backgrounds the men couldn't be more different, especially Whitehead,a Royalist and former assistant to a late alchemist, but they are united by their fear of death in battle. As they venture through the overgrown field they meet O'Neil, a former employee of the same alchemist. O'Neil is armed, forcing the group of men to search for a hidden treasure he believes is buried somewhere in the field. A Field in England is a stylish, somewhat psychedelic, tale of man's inherent primal desire to survive by almost any means necessary. O'Neil is a character who represents evil and greed, while Whitehead, his counter-part, is a civilized, intellectual, religious man. While Wheatley's intent isn't completely coherent, there is no denying that these two men represent good and evil, with Wheatley using a psychedelic sequence towards the end of the film that juxtaposes these men's images on top of each other almost to suggest that they are two forces present in every man. While classified as a horror film, A Field in England is darkly comedic, managing to break up the tension a little bit at times and let the viewer breath. Though I haven't been as impressed with Wheatley's previous efforts as many, there is no denying his ability to create atmosphere and with The Field in England he pulls out all the stops. Wheatley films these lush overgrown fields in such a way that he creates a rich tension and atmosphere that carries throughout the film. The field itself almost feels like its own character, silently stalking this group of men. Ben Wheatley's A Field In England is definitely not a film for everyone as some will find it pretentious and incoherent. While I think these claims have slight merit, A Field in England is not a film about plot but themes and it's unsettling, beautifully shot, and a truly unique experience which makes it worth a look.
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