01st Nov2013

‘Viking: The Darkest Day’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Mark Pickering, Gareth John Bale, Ian Dicks, Richard Elfyn, Paul Gamble, Huw Garmon, Christopher Godwin, Ioan Hefin, Michael Jibson, Paul Jibson, Mark Lewis Jones | Written by Chris Crow, Graham Davidson | Directed by Chris Crow


Cast into a violent and bloody world of murder, Hereward, a novice monk, must deliver the Holy Gospel of Lindisfarne – a book of great beauty and power – to the safety of the Iona monastery, while being pursued by a Viking death squad hell- bent on its capture. On his way to the monastery, he meets a fierce and skilled swordsman who answers his prayers and dedicates his life to protecting Hereward while he delivers the book. In the midst of their journey, they are confronted by Vikings ready to kill in order to get what they want, leaving Hereward and his protector at their mercy.

I have a love-hate relationship with historical Viking flicks – they love to make them and I hate to watch them! But after enjoying Hammer of the Gods I thought the least I could do what give this small, but growing ,sub-genre another go. Hence sitting down to watch Viking: The Darkest Day… Big mistake! Gone are fast-paced gloriously gory battles and in comes a slow-paced, boredom inducing tale that, whilst I respect the fact it’s based on a true story, requires a injection of much-needed action.

it’s hard to believe that Viking: The Darkest Day comes from writer/director Chris Crow – his previous flick, the techno-horror Panic Button is, in my opinion, light years away from this flick in both style and execution. Panic Button easily held the audiences attention for the length of its running time, whereas I was clock-watching after only thirty minutes into this film! But then I guess I’m personally more adverse to period pieces than gory horror flicks.

For that it what Viking: The Darkest Day is. A period piece. Drawing on the complicated history of England, the film at least aims for (somewhat) historical accuracy. The costuming is superb and I cannot fault the acting – everyone does their very best with what they are given; and director Chris Crow makes great use of the landscape, giving the film a cold, unforgiving look that matches the stark reality of Hereward’s journey.

Such a shame then that compared to others of its ilk, this film feels so mundane. Maybe I just prefer my vikings a little more raw, gritty and violent? Viking: The Darkest Day is released on DVD on November 4th, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

One Response to “‘Viking: The Darkest Day’ Review”

  • Julie Barnes

    I really like the young actor Marc Pickering. You don’t hear a lot about him here in the states but the small body of work I have been able to see is impressive. I hope we will be seeing more of him in feature films, and tv, . I personally think he is very under rated, and can hold his own against or even best most of the higher profile young actors these days. By the way, he has grown into a rather nice looking young man!! GO MARC. HOPE WE ALL SEE MORE OF YOU SOON!!! Julie Barnes