Thursday, July 28, 2011

Season of the Witch

Overall, not a bad film, but not everything I had hoped for.
Season of the Witch is about two warriors that, against the Church's orders, leave the crusades after taking part in the killing of innocent women and children. To be pardoned from their crime of abandonment, they are ordered to transport a witch accused of spreading the Black Plague to a monastery where she can be stripped of her evil powers.
I'll admit that the movie was interesting and it kept me intrigued throughout the entire journey. The movie felt like a mediator between The Crucible and Van Helsing, sporting a very deceptively mind-twisting villain with some fantastical creatures and action scenes thrown in. The special effects were convincing (minus a few jumpy slow-motion effects) and the art direction of the film was very well conceived. While the acting was good,the movie should have been played out more like a thrilling drama and less like an action film. The intense scenes of the film were well done and enough to keep you on edge. So, overall not a bad ride.
On the other hand, the characters weren't engaging enough for me to care what happened to them, there were some very predictable moments, the "redshirts" were pretty obvious, there were a few loopholes that made me grind my teeth a bit, and the climax of the film was a bit of a put-off. So, it was about half and half. The film was fun, but don't expect a great movie.

**Spoiler Alert**
Considering the title of the film and the build-up (is she or isn't she?), I was disappointed when the girl turned out to be a demon instead of a witch in the end. We've had plenty of exorcism movies as of late and we haven't had a good witch movie in a while. I was sad when it stopped echoing The Crucible and started retelling The Mummy.
Considering that the demon was incredibly evil and killed those that stopped it from reaching its destination (how the characters suddenly deduced this plot was a bit rough), why did it save the altar boy? Demons don't feel charity and the boy had no real purpose in the journey; as a matter of fact, he wasn't even supposed to be there. What made the demon suddenly decide to save this useless boy? Didn't make sense to me.
I laughed at the final words of the film. After the demon was exorcised and the girl was herself again, minus any clothing, she tells the altar boy that she has no recollection of her heroes or the journey. Then, as they ride off into the sunset, her voice-over explains that most people will think the plague was a passing virus and that she will spread the truth because she was there! She just said she had no idea what had happened!
Also, they talk about needing more Holy Water and then go on a search to find it... and then never use it.
**End Spoiler Alert**

As far as questionable content:
The movie is wrought with violence ranging from battle scenes to hangings. Pretty violent stuff. Because the film deals with the Bubonic Plague, there are a lot of disturbing images of the victims.

P.S. - The image in this post is copyrighted by Rogue.

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