x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

DVD review: Season of the Witch

This historical thriller features a tired performance from Nicolas Cage and a bit too much gratuitous gore.

Season of the Witch

Director: Dominic Sena

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Claire Foy


The Oscar-winner Cage stars opposite Perlman in this supernatural action movie about two 14th-century knights who must transport a suspected witch to a remote monastery for trial.

The heroic warriors battle treacherous terrain, packs of ferocious wolves and the Black Plague to complete their quest, all in the space of 90 minutes. The time, it has to be said, passes remarkably quickly and relatively painlessly. However, for a DVD with a PG-13 rating, there's more decapitation than one would ever expect to see. Moreover, thanks to the magic of CGI and some gruesome prosthetics, the decaying bodies of the plague victims will leave your stomach churning.

As for the cast, well brace yourself, dead and dying bodies make up 90 per cent of it. Of the living variety, the aforementioned witch, played by Foy, who is believed to have cast the Black Death spell upon the ravaged land, gives a chilling performance as a woman possessed.

The same, however, can sadly not be said of her fellow actor Cage, who appears depressed and almost sleepy in his portrayal.

The language is the other puzzling aspect to this film as it flits between formal and medieval, with the addition of cheesy lines bearing modern references.

There's also not one gag in the film, so you'll be squirming in your seat when Cage delivers deadpan one-liners straight down the barrel of the lens.

All in all, the director Sena delivers a disappointing historical-fantasy film, which will probably fail to leave you spellbound.