Season of the Witch Review
Kieran's Rating: 3/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 2.0/10
(2 reviews total)
Historical-set supernatural action/horror has slowly become more popular with studios. In 2011, Solomon Kane
and Black Death
were part of an attempt to make to cash from fantasy fans whilst have an adult edge. Season of the Witch
is a small addition to this trend.
Behmen (Nicolas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) are two 14th Century knights fighting in the Crusades. After deserting the army, the two knights discover Europe has been decimated by the Black Death and after being captured in a town, a Cardinal (Christopher Lee) asks them to escort a suspected witch (Claire Foy), blamed for the plague, to a monastery. At the monastery is the last Book of Solomon that will destroy her. With another knight (Ulrich Thomsen), a priest (Stephen Campbell Moore), a teenager who wants to be a knight (Robert Sheehan) and a dodgy merchant (Stephen Graham), the knights accept the quest but question both the mission and the truth about the girl.
Season of the Witch is basically what would have happened if The Seventh Seal was made as a silly B-Movie. The relationship between Behmen and Felson and their characterisation is similar to Antonius and Jöns, but obviously without the intelligence or the thematic depth of the Ingmar Bergman classic. Both sets of men are on a similar mission, battling an supernatural force and going through Europe during the height of the Black Death. But the issues of loss of faith felt very false in Season of the Witch.
Dominic Sena is a gun-for-hire director. He gets the job done and makes a fast-pace movie with much visual flair. The action scenes were standard, decent enough, but we have seen this all before. The fights were clean and quick, it was not like Ridley Scott’s brutal, realistic style, Zack Snyder violent comic-book style or Peter Jackson’s epic sense of filmmaking. Sena was unable to give this film any atmosphere and any horror moments are limply handled, done in that typical way of turning the music up really loudly. The humour was also weak and this is a film that is hard to take seriously.
The acting in Season of the Witch
was appalling. Cage just gave a lazy, phoned-in performance and many of the actors seemed like they did not care (whoever thought he could play a Medieval knight should revaluate their career in the film industry). The actors’ voices and looks were wooden. It is made even more shameful because some of the talent involved. I would have though Perlman should have learnt from his experience with In the Name of the King
and I would not be surprised if Cage earns a Razzie nomination for 2011.
But there is some hope, Foy was able to show some range, playing someone who can be seem innocent to someone with menace. She was a decent bit of casting because of her young, girly look, but that is the only bright spark on the acting front.
The script by Bragi F. Schut is a poor piece of work. The dialogue is laughable (in a bad way) the story is thin and characterisation is non-existent. We do not get to know anything about the characters and we simply see a bunch of clichés. He is not J.R.R. Tolkien or Robert E. Howard and shows what happens when a supernatural fantasy is not done properly and filled with plot-holes.
Season of the Witch
Directed by Dominic Sena
Written by Bragi F. Schut
Staring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman and Claire Foy
Other Player Affinity Reviews
Dinah thought: "I recall seeing previews for Season of the Witch about a year ago and then suddenly the movie was devoid of marketing and pushed back to 2011. The producers should have taken it a step further and left this amateur adventure on the shelf. Season of the Witch is more of a mess than Nic Cage’s wig. This period action (should have been a comedy) is filled with misplaced locker room banter, inconsistent medieval dialect, overly polished sets, cliché dialogue, and throwaway characters. Cage and Ron Perlman appear at all times to have stumbled out of a bar and into one of those period reenactment stages. Although everyone is dressed in old timey garb the background is so polished and the actors so inept at their period lingo that it is obvious you are watching costumed thespians. The movie attempts to be religious, terrifying, majestic, and exciting but in the end it’s just mixed up and boring." Rating: 1/10
Player Affinity Composite Rating: 2.0/10