Nicolas Cage (Lord Of War) and Ron Perlman (I Sell The Dead) play two knights - Behmen and Felson, who have left the crusades in protest at the sheer volume of blood shed they were asked to commit for the church whilst the church pilfers everything it conquers. Morally correct but wanted for desertion they arrive back at home to find a plague in full-swing. Villagers are certain that it has been brought upon them by a young witch (upcoming actress Claire Foy). The knights agree to escort the witch out of town and to a monastery for trial, but whether she is really a witch or not plays heavily on the mind of the knights as they question sentencing an innocent to certain death, is she responsible for the plague or is she just a girl? Time will tell...
Season of the Witch is sure to please fantasy lovers; set in a fictional version of the 14th century it features battles that never took place, mysterious forests (think Tolkien's Fangorn) and magnificent citadels. There is also a heavy sprinkling of the occult, with incantations and leather-bound tomes being responsible for the a lot of the happenings. So if you like films about knights, magic and the supernatural you are sure to enjoy this.
It's well acted by the cast that really vocalise their internal moral struggle about the girl's fate well, with even the audience being left wondering whether she is a witch or not until the very end - it's the sense of uncertainty that holds the tension in place throughout this medieval road trip. The supporting cast are average with only the stereotypical young-knave-desperate-to-be-knight played by Robert Sheehan worth any mention. It's not one of Cage's best performances but it's not one of his worst either. Perlman is an old hand at these type of fantasy films and does a fantastic job in the supporting role.
The cinematic experience is decent; well directed by Dominic Sena, although fleshed out with a fair bit of CGI. The editors have also gone for a very sterile colour palette, with the majority of scenes having a grey tint, an odd choice as some of the vistas are very picturesque - but then again there is meant to be a sense of evil and plague across the land and this may have justified the choice but it does make it a very dull watch.
In conclusion, an entertaining but totally mediocre fantasy film shot through a grey-filter. It's exciting in parts but let down by ripping-off others from the genre and campy dialogue. Worth a watch if you enjoy this type of cinema, otherwise, I wouldn't lose sleep over not seeing it.