Season of the Witch

Director: Dominic Sena

Notable Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Christopher Lee, Claire Foy

Rating: PG-13

Review: Great start to 2011!  I went in with zero expectations and was still let down by this period piece of garbage.  Starring Nic Cage, I at least wanted a few memorable quotes or some new scenes for the “Nic Cage Losing His Sh*t” video.  Instead, it’s just horribly awful and has no Cage silliness to be found.  Season of the Witch is supposed to take place in the 1300’s and 1400’s, but the feel itself bounces from an actual period piece to a modern-day film.  There is no chemistry on-screen, nothing to invest yourself in, and a insanely silly ending that was just the culmination of stinkage from the rest of the film.  I found myself laughing as characters died, and shaking my head in the theater as audience members around me were apparently enthralled.  I know it’s early and I hate to do it, but I’m already deeming Season of the Witch the worst film of 2011.  Know what?  Screw it, I’m spoiling this thing here and now.  If you want to subject yourself to this film, be warned I’m going to rant about the ending. I’ll star it so you know it’s coming.

Behmen (Cage) and Felson (Perlman) are deserters of the Holy Army, after they both realize the number of innocents dying in the name of God.  While traversing much land, they come across a town which has been stricken by a plague apparently sent down by a witch (Foy) being held in a dungeon.  While gathering provisions, the two are made by a townsman and force into the dungeon for being deserters.  They are given a way out if they guide the witch to a holy city of monks so they can read an ancient prayer and dismiss the plague.  Behmen and Felson agree on the terms of being released of all charges.  They join a priest named Debelzaq (Stephen Campbell Moore), a soldier named Eckhart (Ulrich Thomsen), a swindler named Hagamar (Stephen Graham), and an altar boy named Kay (Robert Sheehan) on their quest for freedom.  Of course they run into numerous obstacles on the way and must use their battle skills to stay safe from the dangers the witch creates.  That crafty, crafty witch.

“You…Are…Here….I believe we are here…”

Well, lets jump right into the fray.  First off, I couldn’t stand the wishy-washy dialogue that was in character one moment and out of character another.  One minute Cage is talking like “Felson, how beist thou…blah blah blah,” and the next minute he’s surrounded by guards exclaiming “Shit.”  So that’s how knights talked in medieval times? Really?  I couldn’t stand the inconsistencies in speech and how Perlman went from a old time accent and then reverted to some New York slang accent spastically, almost like Hellboy was talking.  But hey, Perlman gets credit for out acting Nicolas Cage, who was basically a statue the whole film.  Congrats Ron, you out acted a man who is becoming more and more known for his horrible portrayal of characters.  Again, Cage is the master of no emotion, just a ton of blank stares and empty lines.  Cage might as well have been reading off a cue card the whole movie, and I’m still not convinced he belonged in the role of Behmen at all.  All he brought was his charmingly Cagey smile, and a head of hair unfit for a homeless man.  At least he looked dirty and disgusting enough to belong in the time period even if he didn’t act like it.

The story was also horribly written.  Why are people running directly into swords and why are useless altar boys running around with their swords drawn? Why does the witch care if one of the men escorting her to her impending death lives or dies himself, and why in god’s name would she save him directly?  *SPOILER*  Why on God’s green earth does the “witch” need these mere mortals to escort her to the monks when she could have just broken out of the cage at any time and FLOWN THERE!?  And since were on the topic, why did she let herself get caught in a dungeon if she could have escaped that too?!  This movie didn’t even need to happen if the witch wasn’t such a stupid lazy prick, or maybe she wasn’t in a hurry to get to the monks and just wanted to hitch a ride, or maybe she just has a thing about watching humans drag her around.  Either way, she was a complete moron because if she just escaped she wouldn’t have had to fight Cage and Perlman to complete her task and would have had a cakewalk, not to mention end the movie in a painless 15 minutes.  Instead, she waits to be escorted by 3 highly trained soldiers, an alter boy who is an inexplicably good fighter, a vagabond with a crossbow, and a priest name Ballsack with special praying powers.  Seemed like the right choice.  Why take the easy way out when you can fight Nic Cage?  Yeah, good decision there evil genius. Have fun explaining that to the other demons in hell.  My only explanation is that she was about to escape the dungeon until she saw Cage get thrown in there, and upon witnessing his horrible acting, decided she had to try to kill him for the good of the movie.  In that case, I admire your gusto witch and would have been rooting for you from the start.

Can’t wait for awards season to roll around and see how many Razzies this abomination gets.  Maybe a nice Worst Lead Actor role for Mr. Cage?  He can put it right next to his Oscar for Best Leading Actor because god knows he won’t be seeing any of those nominations ever again.  There is almost nothing enjoyable here.  The cast looks like it can’t wait to stop shooting the film at every point, and the story is just as uninspired and not to mention filled with gaping holes.  The effects are outdated and the final form the witch takes made me laugh out loud.  It was medieval film that lacked any history or intensity. Cage can just tack this doozy on the wall with the list of other roles he should have passed on and move on to the next turd of a role he for some reason thinks is a great idea.

Final Rating: 3 hung witches just as lifeless as this film out of 10

How dust thou say…Ahh yes…Shit.


About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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6 Responses to Season of the Witch

  1. Kelsey says:

    whyyyyy do you keep watching nic cage?

  2. Eric Hall says:

    Just further proves the fact that if a movie has been finished for over awhile and been sitting on the shelves, it is going to be terrible. Examples: All About Steve, Adventures of Pluto Nash, Collateral Damage, Knockaround Guys, Robocop 3. The only exceptions of this are movies that have been shelved for specific reasons (see: Gangs of New York due to 9/11). By this reasoning, the soon to be released Take Me Home Tonight will probably be terrible (It was filmed in 2007)

  3. Pingback: Take Me Home Tonight | Cinema Scrutiny

  4. Pingback: Worst of 2011 Horror | Cinema Scrutiny

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