Can you guess what this new Nicolas Cage movie is about? I’ll give you three guesses and throw in Ron Perlman for good measure. Season of the Witch is a movie about a particularly nasty witch and it features excellent special effects and solid performances. We will be following two disillusioned soldiers who are, after years of fighting abroad, tasked with transporting the eponymous witch. The premise is quite good adding a certain level of grittiness and reality to the atmosphere. However, again we get a PG-13 movie instead of a real R one.
This means that the violence will be quite meek along with nudity and other graphic stuff. I mean, it’s not like gore and nudity are key factors in movies but you know what I mean. You can already hear the studio execs explaining how if they want their $40 million budget they have to make the movie profitable. And to do that they have to make it available to the broadest possible audience. To be fair there will be some pretty nasty scenes throughout the movie but I guess as a horror fan I wanted more. At least the ending was excellent offering a lot of cool action and good CGI.
At its heart, Season of the Witch is an entertaining but forgettable blend of fantasy and horror. The story unfolds at a brisk pace and the running time is just 90 minutes. It’s full of both small and big details that make it feel much better than it actually is. They divert your attention from the bad stuff to be more precise. For example, the whole bubonic plague aspect of the story is just perfect. I kept thinking how shitty must’ve been to go through such a thing. And then you have the disfigured people, plague doctors with their creepy masks, and other fun stuff. The sets are believable and we will be visiting quite a few of these imposing medieval castles. They’re all real castles located in Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.
Behmen and Felson are two crusaders who are tired of killing innocent women and children. So, they leave their army to keep fighting and return to England. Now they’re deserters and must hide from the authorities to avoid certain death. However, they soon get caught and in exchange for their freedom get a very dangerous mission. They have to transport a witch to a faraway monastery. Something that sounds much easier than it’s going to be in reality.
Nic Cage gave a bit toned down but still unhinged performance riveling Pearlman’s almost perfect rendition of a weary soldier tired of the fighting. Young Claire Foy was excellent the witch while the supporting cast is simply sublime. Apart from Ulrich Thomsen (In a Better World) and Stephen Graham (Doghouse), we have none other than the mighty Christopher Lee. If that doesn’t make you watch this movie, I don’t know what will. The action is dolled out in little bits and pieces culminating in one hell of a finale.
Overall, Season of the Witch is a fun movie I’m sure fans of the genre and any other viewer will appreciate. It’s a perfect timekiller on those grinding weekdays when you want to just play something and forget about work. Additionally, what’s the last good movie about witches you’ve seen? If you’re looking for similar movies, I recommend you check out Solomon Kane and Black Death. And if you’re looking for more witches, I’ll just point you in the direction of Drag Me To Hell.
Director: Dominic Sena
Writer: Bragi F. Schut
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Ulrich Thomsen, Stephen Graham, Claire Foy, Christopher Lee
Fun Facts: Some of the themes in the movie were directly taken from Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 masterpiece Det Sjunde Inseglet AKA The Seventh Seal.