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Friday, January 24, 2020

Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil (2018)




One of the cohosts of the podcast that I do every week had been talking about this movie, so I added it to my list. Then months went by before I was bored and looking for something different. Then I remembered Kyle’s recommendation and logged into Netflix to check it out. Spoiler alert this movie is awesome.

Errementari plays more like a fairy tale then it does a horror flick. Set in the eighteen thirties in Europe (Spain I’m thinking…) we meet a young girl living in a small town. It seems as if she is the responsibility of the church because her mother committed suicide, which is a mortal sin. This is a very Catholic town, so she is ostracized and gets picked on a lot. This ends up putting her in a situation where she sneaks into the local hermit’s home while looking for a doll. Somethings happen that I won’t spoil but I can share that the remainder of the story is her finding out the Blacksmith made a deal with the devil and it went wrong, as these things normally do. Again, there are many twists and turns to the movie and I’m being overly simplistic to keep from spoiling anything.

This is a great movie. The story is engaging and as I’ve already stated plays out very much like a fairy tale. That of course means that at its core Errementari is a morality tale that involves greed, anger, and potentially redemption. You also get a lot of demons and the gates of hell, so that is fun flick. It is paced briskly and moves you thru the story making sure to not waste a scene or kill the momentum. The cast is excellent and helps the audience to see the story and characters doing so with a passion that you don’t often see. This is important because it is really a simple tale with very familiar character archetypes. You can probably predict what will happen as it is following obvious patterns. But between the cast and story it engages the viewer and it just works.

The creature effects work is top notch.
This one is also visually stunning both with the set designs and the creatures. The sets walk a line between total fantasy and a realism. The buildings look like they could be lived in and functional, but also have a slightly off kilter vibe about them. Not sure how they accomplished that, but it fits nicely with the content of the story given the supernatural elements. Speaking of that we get one demon that has a ton of screen time and it looks great. There is an actor giving a performance under the makeup which is done in a way that allows him to be very physical while still looking alien. We get several more demons that don’t get nearly the screen time, but all have individual designs unique the them. I would have expected some cookie cutter assembly line makeup work, but they don’t do that. Even those that are just background characters clearly had a great deal of thought put into the makeup. That is an attention to detail that I noticed and that made me love this movie even more.

Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil is still streaming on Netflix as of the writing of this review. If you like horror or fantasy you must check it out. It is fantastic and should have a much bigger audience than it has found so far.


© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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