Friday, 7 January 2011
Season of the Witch - Horror Film Review
Not a remake of Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, this is instead a horror film set during the middle ages. I saw a brief TV spot for this, it didn't look anything exciting but my new years resolution was to start going to the Cinema weekly once again, so off I went.
Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman are tasked with transporting a suspected Witch to a remote monastery as a recompense for them deserting from the Crusades. A plague is ravaging the unnamed land they live in and the girl has been blamed as the cause. At first they question whether the young woman in the cage is actually a Witch but as they journey it becomes apparent that yes, she probably is kinda evil as their group of travellers befall many perils along the way all seeming suspect.
Despite being ex-crusaders Nic Cage and Ron Perlman are very American with no effort to put on an accent. Apparently even British and European actors used in the film were forced to adopt American accents, making the whole thing seem faintly ridiculous, it reminded me of a sketch from the creepy Monkey Dust animated series. Things are not made better in that much of their dialogue is ye olde worlde style with some modern slang and swearing thrown in for good measure. It was very hard to get into the film due to these very off putting accents.
The film at least looks the part with the land the film is set in being murky and muddy full of peasants and soldiers and lots and lots of trees. It may be because I have seen them in so many films set in modern day but Cage and Perlman both look completely out of place, feeling to me like time travellers from modern day. I think this is my problem though as the clothes they wear are the same as all the other characters. The special effects are quite good, the plague victims are covered in nasty looking bulbous sores and seem quite icky. The creature special effects are also quite cool. There are a lot of action sequences throughout the film whether it be the group fighting a pack of crazed Wolves, or fighting a collection of Demon possessed Monks all are entertaining.
The film seemed to fly by, at just over an hour and a half it does not out stay its welcome, but the main problem apart from the acting is the predictability of the whole thing. There are a few twists but nothing special and at one point I correctly guessed Perlmans entire sentence he was about to speak due to how obvious the whole thing is. Nothing in the film surprised me, it just felt like one big Hollywood horror. Characters say 'witty' one liners, there are forced moments to make the characters seem likable, jump scares are signposted a mile away, and the soundtrack is utterly forgettable.
If you are prepared for how average the whole thing is going to be then watch it if you must. It's hard to recommend such a bland and at times very boring film though.