Sinister Screens

Brimstone (2016) ★★★



Retribution is coming.

In the menacing inferno of the old North-American West, Liz is a genuine survivor who is hunted by a vengeful preacher for a crime she didn’t commit.


Brimstone falls under the western, drama, mystery and thriller genres, but it’s truly sinking its spurs into horror. It’s one of those movies I label ‘horrorish’. A movie not marketed as horror, but horror fans would enjoy. Don’t hate the player, I know, but Guy Pearce can play a real asshole…in film (as far as I know). If he was plated with popular horror villains, some would seem like saints. But is there anything more despicable than a hypocrite preacher who also moonlights as an abusive, murdering, wife-beating pedophile?

Brimstone melds two of my favorite movie genres: horror and western. Although it doesn’t really strike you as straight western or horror, the predominant theme of good vs. evil / innocent vs. monster plays out to horrific effect. There are some gnarly death scenes, a very creepy, dire atmosphere and has the ‘man is the ultimate monster’ theme down pat. That’s strikingly horror to me!

But this movie plays like an epic drama in some aspects. It’s divided into four sections, so it has a hefty runtime. It creeps along in spots, but remains engaging overall. Probably not a film I’ll watch again. But Brimstone succeeds overall to be recommended to fans of westerns and horror alike.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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