Saturday, February 04, 2012

Season of the Witch

I'd read several bad reviews of this movie, but I rather enjoyed it. A nice little historical sword & sorcery film with zombies, dire wolves, and blackest sorcery. Throw in some lovely European scenery and a reasonably intelligent script, and I've certainly spent a worse 95 minutes. The most frequent complaint I've heard about this film is that the actor's performances were phoned in. The only one I really felt that was just there for the paycheck was Ron Perlman. He did seem to be just hitting his marks and saying his lines. Nicholas Cage didn't seem any less involved than he ever does.
Cage and Perlman play two crusaders who have become disenchanted with the cause, especially after they witness the slaughter of a city full of women and children. They walk away but soon find themselves arrested as deserters and slated for execution. However they are offered a way out. A young girl has been accused of being a witch and blamed for a horrible plague that is sweeping the countryside. The Church wants the knights to escort the witch to a far off abbey, where her fate will be decided by learned monks who have a book of rituals for fighting witchcraft.
Cage's character doesn't believe the girl is a witch and he agrees to escort her only if she is assured of a fair trial. Soon the two knights are on their way in the company of a priest, a former alter boy, and a swindler who is to act as their guide. Along the way they will face menaces both natural and supernatural before coming to grips with a terrible evil.
It ain't high drama, but as an action movie it's pretty decent. The special effects are good and the characters, while a bit thin, are mostly interesting. It's certainly more entertaining than another recent S&S movie I could mention. Anyway, if you're up for a little Crusades era horror/action film, Season of the Witch isn't bad for a lazy Saturday afternoon.

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