SEASON OF THE WITCH
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman play veteran knights who deserted their ranks during the Crusades. As they head home, they encounter a village that has been stricken with the plague. The culprit, the town believes, is a young woman who might just be a witch. The town elders discover the disgraced knights in their presence and strike a deal for them to escort the witch to a monastery for cleansing.
WHAT I LIKED
As an actor, Nicolas Cage has raised (or rather, lowered) himself to a level of so-bad-it’s-good. Right now, I’m less interested in his serious endeavors and more interested in his cheesy roles he takes to pay off a rather pricey divorce settlement.
“Season of the Witch” is not a great film, but it’s surprisingly enjoyable as a not-quite horror film. I saw this in the theaters in January and had a blast. Then, watching it again on Blu-ray offered a level of enjoyment. It’s an Uwe Boll kind of film that’s been directed with a certain degree of competency by previous Cage collaborator Dominic Sena. “Season of the Witch” is cinematic fast food.
The performances are thick and heavy with bad accents abound and deliveries like a poorly funded Renaissance Festival. Both Cage and Perlman are playing their stock characters to pay some bills, but they’ve gotten so used to these roles that they can still delivery fun performances.
And while the story isn’t anything too original, it kept my interest. At its core, “Season of the Witch” is a quest film that keeps the action in the forefront and has a pretty decent climax. Sure, the effects aren’t top-notch, but they’re not awful, either.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There are some slow parts in this film, and the movie gets a bit convoluted at times, which is shocking considering how simple the story actually is. And the effects, which elaborate, have that plastic CGI look that some films just can’t escape.
All the other aspects of so-bad-it’s-good filmmaking apply here. Bad acting, bad dialogue, silly plot points and over-ambitious scenes that break down in the end. But that’s oddly part of this film’s charm as well.
There’s a decent assortment of special features on this disc, including deleted scenes, an alternate ending, plus two featurettes: “Becoming the Demon” and “On a Crusade.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People who prefer Nicolas Cage’s bad movies to his good ones.