Based on the well-known novel written by Agatha Christie, The Pale Horse begins with an older woman dying in the streets. While investigators search the woman’s body and seek out the cause of death, they find a piece of paper which contains a list of names located in one of the woman’s shoes. One of the names appearing on this list is a man named Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell). Mark is an antiques dealer, alive and well in England. When Mark hears about this unusual death and the mysterious list, he begins his own investigation, questioning why his name was even written on this list. As he investigates, he begins to fear that perhaps his death could be next. Mark also questions those around him and even wonders if any of these strange occurrences has something to do with his dark past.
While Mark investigates, he finds himself travelling to a small village known as “Much Deeping” where he begins to suspect three fortune-telling ladies could somehow be involved. Topics such as faith and the use of witchcraft or curses are also hinted at somehow being in play. Mark also continues to receive word that more deaths are occurring, all from people were also on the strange list. Can Mark work out this unusual mystery? Why and how is Mark connected to all these deaths?
The Pale Horse is in a fact a TV movie including two episodes, each lasting an hour. Thanks to Umbrella Entertainment this mini-series has now been released on DVD and can be watched as a standard feature film.
The leading performance from Rufus Sewell is easily the best highlight of this mini-series. I found his performance as Mark to be refreshing and strong. At times, this character seems quite confident in himself and then at other times, I felt his desperation and paranoia. It is a nice transition as a character and I felt the actor nailed this character wonderfully.
As a plot, I found myself quite engaged with this mini-series from Episode One. With such mysteries, I found myself quite invested in the story and the leading character of Mark. I found myself to be quite curious to know the truth and was eager to begin the next episode immediately after the first one had ended.
While I have praises about the film’s leading performance and how I found the story to be quite engaging, the film’s ending (without any spoilers), was rather disappointing to me. Considering what was built up and how much I enjoyed the majority of the two episodes, I was guttered at how this series ended. Not because I did not enjoy the film’s plot or reveal, but then because the way it was done feels rather poor and inconsistent with everything that occurs before it. It is in fact the film’s final moments that hurt this series the most and leaves many unanswered questions for its audiences.
Overall, as a mini-series, The Pale Horse is quite pleasing as a mystery and thriller. The plot is fun and it did not take long for me to get invested in the series. The performance from Rufus Sewell was powerful and wonderful. For the most part, I enjoyed the entire journey but I cannot deny how much I disliked how the series ended. Not because of its plot, but more to do with how they decided to film it and the editing choices in the final act which still leave me feeling somewhat baffled.
The Pale Horse (2020) is Now Available on DVD!