Season of the Witch
Directed by Dominic Sena
Starring Nicolas Cage,
Ron Perlman, Claire Foy
For a bad movie, “Season of the Witch” succeeds at being sufficiently entertaining. Which is to say: Don’t go rushing to see it, but if you’re dragged along by a masochistic friend, you might actually enjoy it without the aid of Ambien or liquor.
Nicolas Cage stars as a 14th-century knight who deserts the Crusades with his BFF (Ron Perlman) on the grounds of conscientious objection, only to be enlisted by the church to transport an accused witch (Claire Foy) to a distant monastery.
The way is fraught with danger — a haunted forest, deadly wolves, a hazardous bridge — but the freakiest part of the journey is their cargo. One minute she appears to be the benign victim of a witch hunt, the next minute she’s creeping you out with her unnatural strength and animalistic movement.
“Season of the Witch” is part period piece, part battle porn and part supernatural thriller. The dialogue is shamelessly cornball and the characters speak in an anachronistic fashion, using cadences and slang associated more with modern American fare than with 14th-century period films set in Europe. It all amounts to a schizophrenic mess, but at least it’s one that you can appreciate for the cheese factor and some surprisingly tense moments.