Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review: Season of the Witch

Grade: F

Behmon and Felson have fought alongside each other for many years during the Crusades. One day, when they invade a town and are instructed to kill even the innocent, the two knights abandon the Army and start wandering around the country. After several months of walking, the two come upon a town that is being ravaged by a horrible plague. There they are recognized as being deserters and are informed that they will be allowed to live and go free if they transport a woman who confessed to being the witch who started the plague, to a small monastery where a group of specialized monks will destroy her once and for all. The two accept the task and while neither of them believes at first that the girl is a witch, strange things begin to happen along their journey that test their faith and humanity.

Season of the Witch turned out to be pretty much exactly what I thought it was going to be: a bland and underwhelming horrorish story. The trailers made this movie look somewhat interesting and that’s exactly what it is. The story is ok and the acting is stiff but if you like movies like this, you will probably enjoy it. One of the main problems that I had is that it is obvious that Season of the Witch was originally intended to be rated R, but for some reason they seemed to have edited it down to PG-13. I really don’t like PG-13 violence as I think it looks ridiculous and I think this movie really could have benefited from an R rating. However, despite its PG-13 rating, the movie does still have a fair amount of violence and it manages to keep a rather tense overtone throughout the movie. The movie is also unfortunately short, not allowing much time to get to know the characters or feel for them. The last 20 minutes of the movie are a lot of fun to watch, however, and actually kind of make it all worth it.

Nicholas Cage (Kick-Ass, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) plays Behmen, a former knight in the Crusades. I usually really enjoy Nicholas Cage, I think he’s a fun actor to watch, but he really seemed to be phoning in his performance in this movie. It’s as though even he didn’t care much for the material. Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Blade II) plays Felson, Behmen’s closest friend. Ron Perlman was enjoyable in this movie and had his usual attitude filled brand of humor, but again, it’s not the most enjoyable performance of his. Both of the main actors clearly seemed to just view this movie as another paycheck. The movie also features Claire Foy, Stephen Campbell Moore, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen and a brief appearance by Christopher Lee.

Season of the Witch is the exact kind of movie I expect to be released in January or February, a movie with decent actors in it but it’s a movie that the studio has little faith in and dumps in these release slots to fill space when there is nothing else coming out worth watching. If you are looking for some cheap thrills and some decent action and fighting scenes, then this is the movie for you. Really, I think this movie is only for the Nic Cage fans out there like me who just like to be entertained by the man.

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