By Elisabeth Rappe

Historical settings are severely underused in films today. Once upon a time in a cheesier Hollywood, you could find pulpy adventures set among knights, Vikings, or cowboys. They were horribly inaccurate, but I admire and appreciate their desire to just run with another time or place. Nowadays, historical films are considered too expensive. No one makes a movie set in Rome or medieval England just for fun. But I think we're starting to see a shift towards that mentality (after all, how much more expensive are Roman breastplates over CG?) with films like Centurion, Ironclad, Season of the Witch and now a little project called Mortis Rex.

Variety has the scoop on this intriguing movie-to-be, which will be the directorial debut of Hellboy writer Peter Briggs. Mortis Rex is set in 122 A.D. (or C.E. if we want to be proper), and centers on a disgraced Roman war hero. He's given the chance to redeem his reputation when he is sent to a Roman garrison that's being besieged by unexplained and brutal killings.

Sure, it could be lame, but a supernatural thriller set in the days of Hadrian? That's something you don't see every day, and a concept I'd like to see more filmmakers run with. Movies should have as much fun and license with history as literature does. If we're going to plunder the past for new movies, we could at least go back a little further than the 1980s.
CATEGORIES Movies, Horror