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Director: Dominic Sena
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore, Claire Foy, Stephen Graham, Ulrich Thomsen, Robert Sheehan, Christopher Lee
RunTime: 1 hr 53 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.seasonofthewitchfilm.com/

Opening Day: 13 January 2011


His faith broken by years of battle as a crusader, Behmen (Nicolas Cage) returns to central Europe to find his homeland decimated by the Black Plague. While searching for food and supplies at the Palace at Marburg, Behmen and his trusted companion Felson (Ron Perlman) are apprehended and ordered by the dying Cardinal to deliver a young peasant girl - believed to be the witch responsible for the Plague to a remote abbey where her powers can be destroyed. Behmen agrees to the assignment but only if the peasant girl is granted a fair trial. As he and five others set off on this dangerous journey, they realize with mounting dread that the cunning girl is no ordinary human, and that their mission will pit them against an evil that even in these dark times they never could have imagined.

Movie Review:

With the overload of books, movies and television shows that feature vampires in the past two years, it is quite natural for other supernatural beings to feel left out. But, don’t fret, there’s Nicky Cage to introduce us to the world of witches. If you are thinking of the image of a green-skinned woman with a pointy hat, maniacally laughing on her broomstick, then stop right there, cause there is none of such in this movie. And, she doesn’t wiggle her nose either when doing magic.

Instead, the witch in question here is a petite pale-faced girl whose true identity is suspect. After being accused of devilry and causing the Black Plague, the girl (she remains nameless throughout the entire movie), is ordered to be sent to a monastery in order for her fate to be decided and hopefully, lead to the restoration of the general health of the people. Fresh from quitting war, Behmen (Cage) and Felson (Perlman) are disillusioned ex-knights wandering about seeking closure for their guilt of killing innocents. Tasked to transport the girl, they have to face the treachery of the journey and the challenge of facing a girl who might or might not be practicing witchcraft, but wishes to escape all the same.

The strength of the movie is in the performance of its leading lady, Claire Foy, who keeps us in suspense about her character’s real identity. A familiar face of British telly, the Bryce Dallas Howard look-a-like plays the girl like an actress who plays someone with a multiple-disorder personality should. As she goes back and forth between the characters of a frightened and fragile, wrongly-accused prisoner and an evil, diabolical witch to toy with her captors, one cannot help but feel a little bit creeped out - definitely scarier and more menacing than a sparkly vampire.

Unfortunately, some other aspects of the movie were quite cringeworthy. From the non-European accents that were spoken by the supposed 14th century European knights (their guide even had a New Yorker accent) to the poor effects of the warring scenes, historical accuracy was definitely done at a low budget. The scene where one of the two knights screamed, in their American accent, for their men to charge at the enemies was especially difficult to watch. And though the movie targets at being a fantasy thriller rather than a fantasy epic, it would be nice if the battle parts had a realistic dimension to them or they could have been skipped altogether, and the plot would still work.

The dialogue, for the most part, is thin as it sounds like fillers between characters rather than a way for real story progression or deep character insight. And again, the lack of historical accuracy is quite irksome as the words and expressions used are simply out of place in the particular age. The plot, if not for the novelty of a story about witches and the gore that come with it, would have been quite dull though some credit must go to the unexpected plot twist about who the girl truly is.

Movie Rating:

(Where’s Peter Jackson when you need him?)

Reviewed by Siti Nursyafiqa


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