The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Season Of The Witch | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Season Of The Witch

Directed by: Dominic Sena
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
Knights Cage and Perlman must transport a suspected witch, suspected of causing the Black Plague, to a faraway monastery.
In medieval Europe the Church massacred thousands of women, branding them as witches. In 1930's Europe it was a widely held view that the Jews were responsible for all the world's ills. Today we know there is no such thing as witchcraft, and we know the Jews weren't the root of all evil in 20th century Europe. If a World War II movie was released today that portrayed the Jews as the villains wouldn't we be outraged? Well I guess if enough time passes you can offend anyone, because to suggest witchcraft actually was around in the middle ages is pretty offensive to the thousands of innocent women slain in it's name. Anyway that's just a thought and I'm not one to let political correctness spoil my enjoyment of a good piece of hokum.
Sadly this is far from a good piece of hokum. This is to medieval horror what the Wolfman remake was to werewolf movies. The plot is "3:10 to Yuma" transposed to the middle ages. Where Yuma had Russell Crowe and Christian Bale headlining, this has er..Nic Cage and Ron Perlman. Now we've all heard American accents in movies set in historical Europe but this goes one step further. Stephen Graham, a Liverpudlian, for some bizarre reason plays his part with an accent befitting a Pizzeria owner from the Bronx.
In the seventies there were some great medieval horror movies like "Witchfinder General", "Mark Of The Devil", and "Blood On Satan's Claw". There were also a lot of awful "Carry On" movies set in medieval times. This movie has a lot more in common with the latter. Our hero's journey is built up as being long and treacherous. We're told of a huge forest that must be negotiated but it takes literally one scene to get through. Theres a deadly mountain range too. This gives us a true cinematic one of a kind: a suspension bridge scene with no suspense. "Temple Of Doom" it ain't.
I have to say I was tempted to walk out about two thirds of the way through this mess. I'm glad I didn't because I would have missed the movies coup de grace. We're treated to a climax where Cage fights Satan. Yes, the dark lord himself and the worst actor of our times get it on like two drunks in a roadhouse parking lot.
If things had been played tongue in cheek we could have had a fun "Army Of Darkness" style romp. Somehow the filmmakers thought they could make a serious movie from this. Didn't they read the script?