Wednesday, 6 July 2011


"The last few years have been kind to Nicolas Cage. Admittedly, The Wicker Man left the hive with about as much sting as a flutter of butterflies, but since then we have been treated to the likes of Bad Lieutenant and Kick-Ass. The Sorceress Apprentice was light, frothy escapism at its best, and all in all, Nicolas Cage has been having one hell of a hair day.

Season of the Witch sounds like it should be a lot of fun - teaming Ghost Rider with Hellboy is a match made in heaven - but Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 Seconds) has mistaken his latest fantasy action flick with a documentary for The History Channel. Perhaps the joke was lost on me, but even the line “We’re going to need more Holy Water” is delivered with po-faced sincerity. Not even a horde (I’m going with horde) of zombie monks can salvage the film from infinite restlessness.

A heroic crusader with good hair (Nicolas Cage) and his close ally (Ron Perlman) return home after decades of fierce fighting to find their world destroyed by the plague - we know this because everyone has boils and screams a lot. Believing a witch (Claire Foy) to be responsible for the devastation, they are commanded by the church Cardinal (Christopher Lee) to transport the girl to a remote monastery where monks will perform an ancient ritual to rid the land of her curse. As you might expect from a film so mortifyingly obvious, things don’t exactly go to plan.

Season of the Witch is a humourless voyage from start to finish. Poor CGI effects can be forgiven on the small screen, and Claire Foy makes the most of a thankless role, but Dominic Sena has missed a golden opportunity to bring campy fantastical fun back to the masses. Cage and Perlman were born to do this, but Sena insists on taking himself way too seriously, and as a result, Season of the Witch is about as entertaining as a marathon hanging on a war torn afternoon.

A terrible script, poor CGI and an absence of humour combine to exhilarating effect, and not even the presence of Christopher Lee can prevent Season of the Witch from burning in cinematic Hell. You have been warned. We’re going to need more Holy water indeed..."

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