05th Jan2022

‘Dragon Knight’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Erich Redman, Megan Tremethick, Lawrie Brewster, Briony Monroe, Joanne Garnet, Emily Louise Knutsson, Stephen Kerr, Michael Daviot, Oluf Marshall, Thomas Handling, Ryan Livingstone, Craig J. Seath, Jock Ferguson | Written by Sarah Daly | Directed by Lawrie Brewster

Director Lawrie Brewster and writer Sarah Daly first came to my attention with the strange and original horror movie, Lord of Tears. Its striking imagery, including an owl-headed villain really made the movie stand out from other indie horror at the time. So I was intrigued when I saw the duos latest movie was an epic fantasy and couldn’t wait to check it out.

A malevolent force has taken hold of the kingdoms of Agonos and a lone knight must embark on a quest to find the last dragon to help him save the world. Along the way he picks up a couple of ‘friends’, one helpful, one not so and they end up forming an unlikely team to attempt this mission.

For a low budget movie, Dragon Knight looks great. Funds of just over £70,000 were raised through Kickstarter but that is still a small amount of money for a movie of this size.

The camera work is impressive and makes good use of the location that is perfectly chosen. From the forests to the hillside, it fits the story and movie nicely. But there’s much more visually to Dragon Knight, the costumes all look very good and the ‘evil’ knights have this kind of faceless mask style that is straight out of a horror movie. Making the villains look both menacing and kind of scary. There’s also a limited use of CGI but it is also used well. The dragon doesn’t feature as much as the film-makers probably wanted and while this isn’t up to Game of Thrones standard, it dies the job. CGI is also used to create armies of thousands without using a lot of extras! With this and close-ups shots of the fighting, Dragon Knight still creates that epic battle feel that is difficult without a large budget.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, that and Lord of the Rings are clearly influences here. From the style to the costumes to the dragons to even the way the characters talk. Fans of both will get some joy from Dragon Knight.

It’s not without faults though. My biggest problem was the ‘light-relief’ character. He just seems so out of place in what is a serious movie except for this one character. None of the jokes really hit for me, which obviously doesn’t help but even if he was funny I’m not sure it would have worked. The film didn’t need any light relief. The actor is fine in the role but it felt like the character was supposed to be in a different movie. The main character also did that kind of growly, shouty voice that was often done better in Game of Thrones but it felt a little forced here.

The sword fights, while clearly trained for, weren’t as dynamic as they could have been and sometimes looked a bit too rehearsed.

Dragon Knight and its creators have to be credited for the ambition they have shown here and they have pulled off plenty of it. Low budget fantasy movies are usually full of dodgy CGI but this film avoids that and is all the better for it, concentrating more on its characters and style. The director and writing duo continue to impress.

*** 3/5

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