Season of the Witch Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2014
I liked it. 90 minutes of saving the world.
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2010
08/01/2012 (Netflix, PS3)
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2010
For some people, just having Nicholas Cage and his absurd deadpan delivery and ridiculous expressions in a historical movie is inherently entertaining. I'm one of those people, especially when it's a movie that takes itself as seriously as Season of the Witch.

Cage and Ron Perlman star as two heroic Crusaders turned deserters who are captured and tasked with either escorting an imprisoned, supposed plague-causing witch to her trial, or dying for abandoning the war. Just because the young woman is in a cage doesn't make her any less dangerous, though, and the closer they get to their destination, the greater the peril becomes for them and their companions.

Season of the Witch actually turned out to be a better supernatural medieval flick than I expected. Sure, it's often unintentionally goofy and the action scenes are filmed and edited in a way where it can be tough to see what's even going on, but it wasn't boring and some parts were even fairly exciting. The ending seemed a little rushed, but surprisingly, I still find myself recommending this to anyone who's interested. It's not a masterpiece, but I enjoyed it for what it was.
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2010
Again it would seem to be the year for mediocre movies that are entertaining enough but maybe not one you'd watch again.
Yes its action packed, yes its well acted, yes storyline is okay and keeps you guessing, however it just isnt a movie that wows you.
Its worth a watch for the action and Cage's and Periman's onscreen humour but not a fantastic movie.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2011
No actor has amassed a higher output of spotty choices than the reigning king of the paycheck film, Nicolas Cage. The man has a habit of appearing in mediocre trash, only notable because a star of Cage's stature is participating. He's in late Marlon Brando territory and Cage hasn't even hit 50 (or blown up to 300 pounds). Every now and then he'll make a movie that reaffirms how talented an actor he can be, like Adaptation or Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. But mostly what we associate with Cage nowadays is tic-filled performances, exuberant weirdness, funny hair, and bad movies, two of which are so bad they're skipping theatrical releases this year (Trespass and Seeking Justice). Season of the Witch will do nothing to change this association.

During the 14th century Crusades, warriors Behmen (Nicolas Cage) and Felson (Ron Perlman) are the best killing machines the Church could hope for. They desert their positions after becoming disillusioned with the Crusades. The duo ventures into a city where a girl (Claire Foy) has been chained in a dungeon. In an airtight piece of impenetrable logic, she's being blamed for bringing the plague. Behmen and Felson, along with a former knight, a priest, and a young upstart, are tasked with bringing the girl to a monastery where she can be properly dealt with. This secluded monastery is the only place left with a copy of a rare manuscript that contains a spell that will end the pestilence. They put the girl in a cage with wheels and get rolling to that monastery, though not everyone is convinced that the girl is a witch.

For the first ten minutes, you swear you're watching a buddy comedy transported to the era of the Crusades. Cage and Perlman are in the front lines of "God's army" but they're trading competitive quips like, "You take the 300 on the right. I'll take the 300 on the left," and then they preposterously debate who is going to buy post-battle drinks while in the heat of battle. They're literally slaying enemy soldiers and would rather be arguing over who buys. It's like they have no attachment to anything happening. This opening Crusade sequence takes us through 12 freaking years of battle locations, but it's only at the final battle that Cage and Perlman come to the realization that women and children might also be getting slaughtered as they siege city after city. It's at this point that they get on their moral high horses and stick it to the Catholic leaders: "I serve God, not you. This is not God's work." Why did it take them 12 years of fighting to figure out that innocent people may die when you lay waste to cities? Naturally this epiphany only happens after they kill off a European looking innocent. The opening sequence is meant to introduce us to these characters, but it jars the viewer in mere minutes. These guys don't feel a part of their place or time, and it only gets worse from there. Their nonchalant anachronistic behavior makes the movie seem like a Hope and Crosby vehicle.

This is one thunderously boring movie, putting me to sleep three separate times. I had to rewind what I had missed, and each time I came to the conclusion that I really had missed nothing at all. The problem with the plot is that it makes a mystery pretty obvious. The group is carting around a teen girl in a cage. You'd think this would be something of a conversation starter, perhaps even an opening for a critical analysis of the Inquisition and religious fanaticism at this perilous time. Nope. The whole of the Bubonic Plague is being blamed on a teen girl and nobody seems to bat an eye at this. Sure there's a few passing references to how killing is wrong (again, remember this took at least 12 years of slaughter to sink in), but the movie's central storyline seems to shift to a "Is she really a witch?" query. Judging from what kind of film this is, you'd probably be safe betting on "yes" and, well, you'd be partly right. The reason this is no spoiler is because it's revealed at like halfway through the movie. The girl's chief defenders suddenly jump on the "burn her" bandwagon. Strange things are following the troupe, so it's pretty obvious who is at play. However, the girl is no witch but is inhabited by a demon, which seems like splitting hairs. When the super cheesy CGI demon/gargoyle shows its face, the creature actually speaks English but in a really speedy and comical voice that makes it hard to be taken seriously. An earlier cut of the movie did not involve this dumb CGI demon but the girl herself. At least that route would have saved the producers some money and unintentional laughter.

The movie should be far more entertaining, even in a dubious fashion, than it finally is. Season of the Witch flirts with some messages (religion can exploit, women were unfairly persecuted) and silly genre elements amidst a Medieval setting (witches, demons, plague). That sounds like the makings for a campy treat but that treat never materializes. The boring plot lumbers, with the company encountering some setback that picks off their numbers one by one. It's hard not to feel the drowsy effects of the dull repetition. They encounter killer wolf creatures. Then they encounter a rickety rope bridge, and you better believe that there are rotting boards and fraying ropes. Who keeps building these rope bridges that appear in so many movies, and why do they keep getting hired after continually doing substandard work? Do the regulators get fat payoffs from the rope bridge lobby?

The road to the monastery is a long trek and the movie's momentum seems to lag with every step. There should be more internal conflict rather than this superficial "killing is wrong" moral that every warrior seems tormented with. The premise should be a ripe opening for a discussion on the perversion of religion for political and personal gain, for the abuses of power, for the archaic view of women as subhuman beings who will seduce men to destruction. There's even a priest along the way to provide a counterpoint. But alas, Season of the Witch goes hog wild for the cheesy supernatural spooks and even at that it fails miserably.

As of late, the saving grace in a Nicolas Cage paycheck movie is a gonzo performance and some wacky hairdo. We don't even get that much with Season of the Witch. Cage is oddly subdued throughout the whole movie despite all the swords and witchery. Even his hair is subdued. Without Cage's typical nutty antics, the movie loses any chance of entertainment it might have ever hoped to have. The shame is that Cage and Perlman both have an easygoing chemistry. You like the two of them together; you just wish they had a better reason to trade insults and one-liners.

Far from bewitching, this movie is ponderously dull. It misses camp by a mile and just lands on mediocrity. There's nothing about this movie that will stand the test of time, good or bad. This is the definition of a paycheck movie. It flirts with going darker before it settles on a messy monster-heavy ending. The special effects are cheesy, the scares are cheap, the plot is repetitious, the characters feel wrongly transplanted from a modern movie, and Cage sleepwalks through his role. I can't say I blame him. Season of the Witch put me to sleep and I only had to put up with it for 90 minutes.

Nate's Grade: D+
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2011
The first few minutes were pretty good, and basically any scene with the "black witch" was pretty cool. Other than that, however, this movie was just average. No...less than average. Nicolas Cage really needs to take a step back, and look at his career lately....
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2010
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy, Stephen Campbell Moore, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen, Robert Sheehan, Christopher Lee

Director: Dominic Sena

Summary: In 14th-century Europe, a courageous knight (Nicolas Cage) leads a group of weary warriors across impossibly treacherous terrain in order to transport a suspected witch (Claire Foy) believed to be responsible for spreading the devastating Black Plague.

My Thoughts: "The movie isn't great, but it's not all bad either. The ending was..well.. I didn't care for it. *SPOILER* I personally thought that the killing of the demon looked like something you would see in a video game. Just really fake looking. *END OF SPOILER* I thought bits of the film was quite creepy. It also had some humor in the movie which helped it. There are plenty of fight/battle scenes and some gore. I liked Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman together in this and I wouldn't mind seeing them team up to do another film. The movie is definitely not as bad as other's have been claiming. It's worth a rental. Films are meant to entertain you and this film succeeded that for me."
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2009
This just in: Nicolas Cage's output has been not always consistent. But, seriously, anyone not already operating with the understanding that Oscar-winning Cage is a loose cannon, unable to be relied upon as a barometer of quality, stands to be somewhat staggered by his latest DOA stiff.
Cage as a 14th Century "knight of God" sounds like it could go either way, like Cage as an ancient wizard (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) or Cage as Harvey Keitel redux (The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans). With a fresh-flowing mane and Hellboy as his sidekick, Cage in Season of the Witch requires us to buy into a chain-mail clanger about disillusioned crusaders escorting a chick to be a kangaroo-courted for her alleged dark artistry.
Just as Ron Perlman's dry asides plummet to earth like a heathen's lopped head, so too does Cage's latest shot at playing dress-ups for our entertainment.
Cage's Gone in 60 Seconds director Dominic Sena must have donated "fun" and "sense of humour" elsewhere, because his soulless medieval road movie doesn't attempt to appease our disinterest by cracking a smirk at the sullen service of Behman (Cage) and Felson (Perlman).
Digs at religious intolerance escape detection as a routine trek to a judgmental monastery only offers Cage and Perlman the chance to ride horses, wave swords and combat a creaky bridge. Such non-events trudge on, until Sena achieves new heights of time-wasting by sincerely serving up a finale of hysterical desperation.
Tacky demons, charred monks and nonsensical conflict between mere mortals and needlessly cautious spirits collapse into a great pile of embarrassment for all concerned. In his favour, Cage doesn't go full-tilt incoherent but, like Apprentice, playing it straight-ish only enhances how the medicore material actually requires him to go postal.
In light of this average Season, Ghost Rider 2 is almost welcome.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2011
Can we please stop encouraging Nicolas Cage, everyone? His gimmick is not funny anymore. It barely ever was, short of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and the few so-bad-it's-awful portions of The Wicker Man. For anyone with even a remote grasp of Cage's career, the joke has long worn out its welcome, leaving us with an actor so clearly bored of his career that he'll star in any old piece of shit to pay off his multi-million dollar burial pyramids. I mean, honestly, what is there in this script that could command the attention of a name of his caliber? Surely he must understand that, despite the waning quality of his output, the "Nicolas Cage" brand still sells pretty strongly. He could actually attach himself to a project of some merit while still pulling a decent paycheck, a balance which he himself has complained is difficult to find in the past.

Perhaps he's simply neutered his career past the point of no return. Next, The Wicker Man, Knowing, Bangkok Dangerous, and now this...awful role after awful role with barely anything else in sight. Does a one-time Oscar winner mean anything to anyone anymore, other than oddfellows like Herzog who are willing to fit him into a warped auteurial brainchild? Or is he simply doomed to boring, brainless, ugly, sub-blockbuster January offal like this for the rest of his life? Frankly, I'm past the point of caring about him, but if anyone sees any potential left, let me know.
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2011
Dominic Sena's Season of the Witch shows a few spurts of entertainment, but ultimately everything falls flat.The film's first few minutes are quite good and it makes it seem like the story will actually be an amusing one. Unfortunately it isn't meant to be, granted this picture just barely reaches the 90 minute mark. The concept of the story isn't a bad one; it's the way the story unfolds where it loses its entertainment value.The action is mediocre at best. The story has its openings for these segments, but really fails to take advantage of them. Visually, the CG is lacking as well. On the other hand, the makeup is practical.Most of the characters are the throw away type, but there are a small few that are a bit better than that. Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman make the most of their characters, which isn't much. Claire Foy is the highlight as she is quite convincing as a witch.In short, Season of the Witch does lack enthusiasm and this leads to a picture to pass on.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2010
The general concept of this film isn't bad, but the way it is treated here just really doesn't work. It is sorta watchable, and it has some okay moments, but overall, this one's a mess. I like Nicolas Cage. I really do. I haven't given up hope on him yet, and try to defend him when I can. His performance here isn't great, but it (and he) just aren't right for this project.

Cage and Perlman played disillusioned Teutonic Knights who abandon the Crusades and find themselves tasked with taking a suposed witch to a monastary to be dealt with. The film is a mixture of Hammer horror films, buddy flicks, epic action period films, and a touch (albeit a bad one) of 'history'.

A major problem here is that Dominic Sena the director and Cage paly it serious while it seems erlamn is going for something more light at times. It doesn't blend well, and the film is all over the place tonally in general. The prologue is actually pretty good, and had me thinking this might actually be decent. Then it spiraled into an overlong series of battle after battle and some banter between Cage and Perlman before the plot kicked in. Once it did get going, it seemed to be over far too quickly. I think they should have trimmed the battle stuff and simplified it. Then, once things got going, spend a bit more time letting things develop.

I will say that, besides the prologue, I liked the sets, the costumes, and think that the final battle is okay (it has it's moments, and in the hands of Sam Raimi, would have been awesome). The movie is watchable, though you might really need to be desperate to want to watch it. It had some real potential, but Sena just does't really do muich with it. It's too bad too, becuase the film had an interesting premise and toyed with some potentially awesome concepts. If you wanna see this type of thing, or something similar to it, but, you know, done right, then go watch Black Death. That's a far better movie.
Clintus M.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2011
Are witches actually in season? Anyway, this film is lightweight entertainment about a medieval road trip to save the world from a demonic-produced plague transmitted or born by a young girl. It's a mishmash of styles that really didn't work; it's a mix of horror, medieval history (poorly done), and a dash of modern comedy thrown in for good measure. Also, neither Cage nor Perlman seemed appropriate for their roles, yet all that considered, I didn't hate it either. Cage is up and down for me; he's better here than in his Wicker Man role. Perlman is excellent as Hellboy and on Sons of Anarchy but not so much in this strongman/ second banana part. The supporting cast is better, and the CGI and action are okay.

SOTW is superior to the recent release Red Riding Hood as far as suspense and scares go. That movie was completely awful, a teenage vampire soap opera which tries to use Amanda Seyfreid to carry it.

Keep your expectations low, and you might enjoy this. Its fairly predictable and clichéd, and the dialogue is crap, but how could a perilous journey to stop the black death by knights who apparently have scruples be all bad?
Super Reviewer
February 25, 2011
Horrible movie, but effects were okay.. Nicholas Cage has hit rock bottom, after Drive Angry and this, hes not making a comeback anytime soon. The plot of the film was lame, they didn't try very hard in this. Like I said, the effects were good enough for 2 stars, but they were just okay all the same. Overall a really crappy film with some okay effects.
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2011
Of course I did not expect it to be historically accurate, of course I knew they would trash at least one library ( it's a Nick Cage film after all), but I would have really appreciated it if they had at least tried to make the plague look even semi convincing. Also, I have to say, Debelzaq has to be the most incompetent priest I have ever come across.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2011
This movie was really bad. The movie was not historically accurate at all. I can get past that though but the movie was so boring. The movie had horrible dialogue and very bad, stupid humor. I was mildy entertained at parts but overall i was bored.

Grade: C-
Super Reviewer
July 13, 2011
Nicolas Cage is a very interesting actor. Either he makes very good movies("National Treasure", "Raising Arizona") or really crappy movies("Ghost Rider", "The Wicker Man"). This is one of those crappy movies. This is a bad, bad movie. The story is actually kind of decent. Basic premise, it's set during the crusades, and it's about two knights who have to transport a witch. Where the movie fails is the acting and some very cheesy effects. Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman are both good actors, but completely wrong for this type of movie. Neither make their characters believable at all, and Cage really just looks like he showed up for a paycheck and that's it. There is one good scene in the movie involving wolves, the effects are cheesy there too, but better than the rest of the movie. If you like witch movies, you can do a lot better, but might like this(although I doubt it). But otherwise just skip it, your not missing anything really.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2011
A spellbinding and thrilling edge of your seat action-packed adventure. It's stylish, mesmerizing and utterly suspenseful. It's exciting and bone-chilling with suspense and adventure around every corner. A fun slice of medieval epic action and supernatural terror. A wickedly entertaining and cool thrill-ride that's visually compelling with great images, locations and special effects. It's explosive, terrifying and pulse-pounding all the way to the end. Director, Dominic Sena takes on a new genre and goes at it with great dedication. Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman are terrific.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2011
Two crusaders have to transport a girl suspected of being a witch to a remote monastery to stand trial for bringing the plague and death to villagers. Good story up until the end which gets a bit far fetched. It will make you jump.
Super Reviewer
½ May 24, 2011
The story never makes a substantial effort to draw the viewer in, there's an incredible lack of build up to the final act where 3/4 of the story finally occurs.

Everything beforehand is just dribble combined with action/suspense that does very little to satisfy the plot. Thank god for Perlman's performance as the generic "badass", otherwise I don't think I would've been able to sit through this snorefest.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2011
I guess I was expecting something else, More related to the period of witches, which is a subject that can be nicely developed.
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