Friday, January 7, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: "Season of the Witch"

Guest blogger Liz Parker is back from seeing the new movie "Season of the Witch" with Nicolas Cage.  Is this witch hunt worth the money?  Let's read what Liz thinks...

The trailer for this film makes it look like it's going to be a good action film, set in the 13th and 14th centuries. However, beware - it ended up being more of a horror film than action, although we get plenty of action as well. It also should have been rated "R" instead of "PG-13," in my opinion, as there is a ton of gore and scary elements present.

Behmen (Nicolas Cage, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice") and his friend Felson (Ron Perlman, TV's "Sons of Anarchy") have just deserted the army during the Crusades and are looking for provisions in a small town when they are arrested. The town has been infested by the Plague, and the church officials have determined it is the Black Witch (newcomer Claire Foy) who has brought it upon them. The leader of the town, currently dying of the Plague, offers Behmen a deal: if they bring the Black Witch to the monks at a monastery many leagues away, they will be absolved of their crimes and will be free men. Behmen and Felson take him up on their offer, with the provision that the witch will get a fair trial by the monks, and it is then that their journey begins.

One of the friends I went to the screening with mentioned that he thought it was a horror movie, and within the first few minutes of the movie he proved himself to be correct. There are definitely a bunch of "jump in your seat" moments at the beginning of the film which scared me silly, but by the middle of the movie I was getting used to them. The two characters who stole the show were actually Ron Perlman and the girl playing "The Witch," because throughout the movie - at least until a twist mid-way through - the audience is wondering if she is actually a witch or not; Cage's character seems to think not. Perlman's character has many comedic lines throughout which lightens the mood, as well.

Maybe see this movie. It definitely wasn't what I expected, and the film's plot doesn't really make any sense, but there were supernatural elements in it that I couldn't take my eyes off of; whether this was because the film was a bit of a train wreck or because it was just that captivating is up to you to decide. This film was really hard to pin down for a Yes/Maybe/No rating, and I have no doubt that other critics will eviscerate it, but for what it was worth, I enjoyed most of it, even though parts were really farfetched.

"Season of the Witch" is in theaters today, January 7th.

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Liz Parker is a 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan. She currently works as an Assistant Medical Editor for a pathology website. Visit her at her movie blog Yes/No Films
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