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Season of the Witch Review (2011)

Season of the Witch Review 2011

 

  Today we are going to take a look at the movie Season of the Witch...

 

Which Witch is which

Which Witch is which?

 

  Season of the Witch, kind of came out of nowhere for me. There was not a high level of hype about this movie so I did not know a lot about it going in. Which is funny considering it took over a decade to get this film made.

 

  The movie opens with a very public witch trial in the city of Villach in the year 1235, where three women are hung and drowned for witchcraft. The town priest wants to perform a ritual from the Book of Solomon to prevent the witches from rising up as undead horrors, but the weary town guards refuse to help the priest saying "They have been hung and drowned, that's dead enough for me". The priest is left to retrieve the bodies from the river by himself and we soon learn that this world does have supernatural forces in it.

 

He should have had the Witches dry cleaned, instead of washed in the river...

 

Witch Trial... Kinda

 

  We are soon swept off to the middle east, over a century later to follow two Christian knights Behmen (Nicholas Cage) and Felson (Ron Pearlman), who fight their way through several years of the crusades during a montage.

 

  After several years (and I mean like over a decade of service in the crusades) the two knights are involved in a battle where they accidently slaughter innocent civilians and decide that maybe this whole holy war thing is not all it's cracked up to be. After confronting their commanding officer the two become deserters (how long is the length of service in a crusader army anyway?) and make their way back home.

 

  What they find upon returning to their home, is a cursed land that is stricken with the plague. They are soon arrested as deserters, although how they are known to be deserters made me wonder. Where their sword hilts inscribed with runes of shame? Because news did not exactly travel very fast back in those days.

 

  The pair are given a chance at a full pardon by the cardinal (Christopher Lee) if they will go on just one more mission for the church (when did this become a heist movie?). They must bring a confessed Witch (Claire Foy) to a far off abbey for trial, were if found guilty the monks can use the last known copy of the Book of Solomon to strip the Black Witch of her powers, thus freeing the land from the curse that has been laid upon it.

 

  At first the pair refuse to go, but after a flashback to the crusades and with doubts about the girl's guilt, Behmen decides that they might be the accused woman's only chance of getting a fair trial.

 

Are you my Mommy?

Are you my mommy?

 

  They decide to form an adventuring party to complete the mission and are soon joined by the priest Debelzaq (Stephen Campbell More), and the knight Eckhart (Ulrich Thomsen). Knowing that no good adventuring party goes anywhere without a good thief they collect Bilbo er I mean Hagamar (Stephen Graham) from the stocks in front of the village to be their guide to the abbey. After leaving off on their mission the group is followed and later joined by its final member, a young altar boy who was in the service of the cardinal (Robert Sheehan).

 

Gandalf the White

Wait a minute you have two ex paladins, a knight, a rogue,

a priest, and a kid playing a multi-class cleric/fighter.

Where the hell is the wizard! Oh we are so boned...

 

  The group makes their way across the country meeting with constant misadventures on the way to the abbey all the while trying to determine if the girl is truly innocent.

 

  The pacing of this movie was a little slow, and the beginning five minutes would have been better served left on the cutting room floor. This would have left us with a little more of a mystery wondering if there was truly any supernatural power in the world that this movie inhabits.

 

  As predictable and as slow moving as this film was it was still entertaining, but the moment that the group reaches the abbey in the final act, is a complete game changer that really elevated this movie to a new level in my book.

 

Final verdict for Season of the Witch 6.5/10

 

  This is not a great or even a very good movie for the first two thirds, but you know what, it was pretty entertaining and that is what we go to the movies for. I think that this movie will become a cult classic in the years to come and if your an old school gamer, or Hammer films movie buff, then you will enjoy this film.

 

 -Professor

 

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