Nicholas Cage (National
Treasure) stars in this clichéd sword and sorcery action adventure that
is steeped in both paranormal and paranoia themes. The story begins with Behman (Cage) and his best friend Felson (Ron Perlman) fighting within
the crusades and after Behman accidentally kills an innocent, this acts
as a catalyst for Behman and Felson to leave their holy mission. When
they return home, they discover that their country has been decimated by
plague. As the plague cannot be explained, the church believes that a
girl (Claire Foy) is responsible for this unholy disease and they
condemn her as a witch.
However when the powers
that be discover that Behman and Felson are deserters, they are
imprisoned for their crime and in order to find redemption, they become
embroiled in the girl's curse as they are forced to accompany her to a
remote monastery in order to rid the land of this curse. Joining the two
former crusaders is a group of religious zealots from an altar boy with
delusions of grandeur to an almost perfect Knight. However as their
journey commences, they soon realise that there is more at stake here
than just the innocent life of a girl who is controlled by a nefarious
entity. One by one, they are tested by this entity and you can probably
guess who will be the survivors.
It's definitely a
passé story and once again Cage plays the stoic character well with
Perlman as his charming backup who plays the average man with some witty
one-liners. There is some decent chemistry behind the two as there is with
Claire Foy who plays the "witch" perfectly. Unfortunately Season of the
Witch failed to make inroads within the movie industry and the biggest
problem with the story is that it harkens back to the 80's style of
sword and sorcery and although it attempts to take itself seriously,
there are elements that will leave cringing.
Directed by Dominic
Sena, he does a decent job at recreating 14th century Europe and uses
some quite amazing locales in the film such as Austria, Croatia and
Hungary. Add in ancient armour, swords and everything else you would
expect to find in this time period and Season of the Witch comes
together rather well with some great action scenes as the weapons clash.
The only drawback to the film are the special effects that at times look
a little budget but fortunately the cast manage to move beyond this from
the witty one-liners of Perlman and Cage.
Video, Audio &
Video quality is quite gritty but supports
sharp images and everything looks dirty which suits the story well.
Audio supports DTS-HD 5.1 that boasts extremely clear audio with no hiss
or any errors whatsoever. Dialogue and sound effects are mixed well and
there is some good use of bass incorporated into the action scenes.
There are a handful of
special features that include Becoming the Demon, On a Crusade, Deleted
Scenes, Alternate Ending and Original Trailer. The special features are
nothing great but it does give fans of the movie a chance to see how it was
created and learn some of the history about the crusades and the
witch hunts of the era.
In the end, Season of the Witch is a clichéd
sword and sorcery romp that if it didn't take itself so seriously, would
definitely be a more enjoyable. It's fun needless to say.