Noob Reviews: Season of the Witch
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Season of the Witch?
Released in 2011, Season of the Witch is a 14th-century adventure through Europe that sees Ron Perlman, and Nicolas Cage thrown into a conflict between the church and a powerful witch accused of bringing the Black Death (plague) to the Holy Roman Empire. The only way to stop the disease from ravaging Europe as a whole is to have the witch escorted to a remote monastery and have her subjected to a powerful ritual that will counter her powers.
Unfortunately, all is not as it seems, Sir Behmen von Bleibruck (Nicolas) and Sir Felson (Ron) are deserters from the Smyrniote Crusades. Having left the army after seeing 1,344 civilians slaughtered in the name of God. When arriving in a nameless town, our two reluctant heroes are discovered to be deserters and given two choices by the Cardinal D’Ambroise - either take the witch to the monastery and see her examined and God’s will done. Or be put to death by the executioner.
Along the way, the witch (Anna) will test not only our knights but their companions and all around them. Bending the wilderness to her needs, controlling packs of wolves and slaughtering innocents in their masses whether they be devout worshipers or not.
The real question throughout though, is, is Anna from Marburg (the witch) only a witch? Or does her level of power suggest she might be something more ancient?
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official trailer linked from IGN’s YouTube channel -
You can also find the listing on Amazon here.
When did it come out?
Season of the Witch was released in January 2011.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Christopher Lee (Cardinal D'Ambroise)
Claire Foy (Anna)
Nicolas Cage (Sir Behmen von Bleibruck)
Robert Sheehan (Kay von Wollenbarth)
Ron Perlman (Sir Felson)
What did you think of Season of the Witch?
Having seen the trailer, Season of the Witch gives the impression it will be an action-adventure that spreads from vast dune seas to enclosed forests and ancient monasteries. The battle scenes will be on an epic scale and combat akin to that seen in 300. However, the trailer is very well edited, and most of the most exciting and engaging scenes in it are mere seconds out of the film. Quite literally, some battles shown in the trailer are the exact same length in the movie.
What could have been a promising 14th-century tour of duty to save countless innocent lives turns into a very dull hack and slash with a handful of sequences that make you sit up and pay attention. Although it has excellent CGI effects, the backdrops for the scenes are well-chosen, and the fight sequences are slightly higher than mediocre - it does not live up to its hype nor the trailer.
In addition to the visual observation, the delivery of lines can be half-hearted at times, and the story is padded to the rim with excessive dialogue and padded content that could have been skipped altogether.
Season of the Witch is not unwatchable overall, but it is not really a film that will leave a lasting impression. Compared to say Black Plague (the 2010 film) it was a lot better but appears thrown together to cash in on the medieval popularity boom of the time and little more. It certainly isn’t The 13th Warrior (released 1999 and starring Antonio Banderas).
What rating would you give Season of the Witch?
I would give Season of the Witch a rating of 2 out of 5 bananas.
What could have been a fantastic film with a great cast was dull and lacked any real energy. There was a lack of enthusiasm on many fronts that bordered on laziness, from the script all the way through to the acting. It is an okay watch that will kill a few hours but don’t go in with high expectations, or you will be sorely disappointed.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in Season of the Witch and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.