Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will star in “Virtue” as Sir Peter, a knight who returns to England, circa 1350, after years of fighting in wars abroad with his teenage son and wartime comrade, only to find their home in the grips of the Black Death (aka the 14th-century bubonic plague pandemic or the Plague). Upon upsetting the locals by stopping an accused witch from being burnt alive, Sir Peter aspires to win back their favor by setting off to rescue Fraya (Romola Garai, pictured above), a woman who vanished in what is believed to be a haunted forest. Except, when Peter and his men find Fraya and her “possessed” daughter Ludella, it — shockingly — turns out they might not be so keen on returning to a settlement gripped by superstition and run by men that are determined to blame women for all their woes.
By the sound of it, “Virtue” shares a lot in common with the modern wave of progressive period folk horror movies (e.g. “The Witch,” “Apostle”), positing life with the “sinister forces” — as the plot synopsis from THR describes them — that reside within the forest as an intimidating yet viable and even preferrable alternative to living in a repressed, patriarchal, medieval society. Worthwhile medieval horror movies are in relative short supply so far as contemporary releases go (with exceptions like Jordan Downey’s “The Head Hunter”), so perhaps “Virtue” can help lead the charge to change that.