Season of the Witch Movie Review
admovieso | April 5, 2012 | No comments
What’s the big suspense inupcoming movie, “Season of the Witch,” a 14th century supernatural thriller? It’s how campy this movie is going to get. Will it go all the way over to the dark side and total camp?
In this one of the year’s early new movie releases, a rag tag group of characters makes a journey across plague riddled Europe. Things get campier and campier and the final straw is the line in a movie clip: “We’re going to need more holy water.”
The only successful parts of this movie picture are the production design and the pleasing locations that lie in Hungary and Austria. Those locations are lovely unless marred by the presence of Nicholas Cage and the other actors who try hard to bring a lot of bad material and poor characters to life. This new movie needs more than holy water to cure it.
This Relativity Media release is not expected to do terribly well in the American market as Nicholas Cage’s career choices have been pretty dismal lately and he’s not the box office draw he once was. The movie may do well in foreign markets, but since Relativity Media only holds American rights, that isn’t going to help them very much.
Director Dominic Sena, who also directed Cage in “Gone in Sixty Seconds” is good at keeping things moving. However, the movie soon loses all credibility due to the inconsistencies of the screenplay by Bragi Schut. He does a good job of painting medieval Catholicism as being full of superstition, hatred, torture, killing, and intolerance. Yet, the church is still categorized as the world’s last refuge when it comes to evil.
Playing Crusaders weary of war, Cage and his co-star, Ron Perlman, leave the Middle East to go home. They’re sick of killing in the name of the Church. They’re especially sick of killing women and children. As a matter of fact, these guys are very modern and speak today’s English. They just about do a roll of the eyes when the Church decides the Plague is the fault of one girl that is deemed a witch.
It’s pretty obvious that she confessed while being tortured and that the Plague does not have demonic but biological origins. Schut still has the film involve a weird group of flying devils, zombie monks and enormous balls of fire.
Claire Foy plays the witch, who, in the tradition of Hollywood, is a beautiful witch. Knights Cage and Perlman agree to accompany the witch to an abbey for her trial. Other people on the journey are a priest, played by Stephen Campbell Moore, a child who aspires to knighthood, played by Robert Sheehan, a knight whose family has died of the Plague, played by Ulrich Thomsen, and a con man played by Stephen Graham.
The difficulties on the journey are pretty hackneyed: a sagging rope bridge, and a pack of wolves. Pretty soon the movie is giving the audience the idea that the witch has supernatural powers after all. At the end of it all, the filmmakers figure out how to make the girl both innocent and evil at the same time. But this is because they want to embrace both realism and the supernatural all in the same movie.
Cage and Perlman are both energetic but entirely shallow in their roles. Perlman never seems comfortable and just drags himself through the motions.
Foy is the only interesting character in "Season of the Witch". All of the other film’s departments are over the top – especially make makeup when it comes to Plague victims, not to mention the music. This film needs more holy water.