After multiple delays and a barely there marketing campaign Nicolas Cage’s latest film Season of the Witch has finally opened in theaters. Films released in January aren’t typically the best that Hollywood has to offer, hence the nickname “dump month.” Despite all the negativity, we know some of you are still interested in knowing whether or not the film is worth your time and money. To help ease your mind here’s a review round up that summarizes what some select movie critics have to say…
Cage and his best bud Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) quit the Crusades after the Church declares that killing women and children is OK, only to get recaptured and forced into service one more time to clear their names. Because the benefits of hand washing were not known at the time, the Black Death is being blamed on witches, and one in particular is to be taken to a certain abbey and exorcised. Well and good, except that most of the movie involves the journey, and literally nothing interesting happens along the way, except that a few wolves do some digital face-morphing for no apparent reason except to show off. [EOnline]
The Direction and Tone:
Director Dominic Sena’s film is probably better characterized as an action film rather than a horror movie. While Satan and his minions do make appearances, they have a tendency to do so via either backflip or the hissing lunge of a spider in an MMA fight. And Cage is given a mouthful of one liners that sound like alternate takes from National Treasure, which gives the film a sort of genre-bending anachronism, like someone setup a GI Joe playset in the Temple of the Black Light. It’s brief, punchy, and to Sena’s credit, never gets dull. [The Cine Files]
The Special Effects:
It’s a movie dominated by bad CGI and poorly-shot action sequences that subscribe to the theory that if the audience can’t tell what’s going on, they’ll probably just assume it’s exciting. [Get the Big Picture]
Apart from the name of Perlman’s character (is “Felson” not a moniker more appropriate to a sitcom second banana than a fierce warrior?), there are lines of dialogue that land with a thud far short of amusement. “I’ve saved your ass a hundred times,” for example. Or, “We’re gonna need more holy water!” My favorite crops up in the middle of an early battle scene, when Felson turns to Behman and says, “I’m building up a powerful thirst,” and Behman replies, “You’re buying, my friend!” [Reason.com]
The Final Verdict:
Season of the Witch is genre garbage, served up with a straight face as though it means something. But all it means is that P.T. Barnum and H.L. Mencken remain inarguably correct in their assessment of the public’s gullibility and appetite. [Huffington Post]
Overall it looks like Season of the Witch blows. This shouldn’t be surprising considering how they’ve shielded a lot of the press screenings from almost all other online media sites. It’s always a bad sign when a studio doesn’t want everyone to get a sneak peek at what their movie has to offer.
Are you still interested in seeing Season of the Witch? Have you seen it already?