A wild mix: Period piece combining adventure and horror elements, Season of the Witch is in too many places in too little a time. It’s easily 2 or 3 movies in one – would’ve been way better if concentrated on select points instead of being spread too thin.
Entertaining drivel though. The buddy action flick that stars two big names: Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman. The latter playing sidekick to the former, oddly enough, since Perlman would have been the better choice for a Crusader/adventurer. Seeing him in this reminds one of The Name of the Rose, with which Witch shares some thematic elements.
A drama sub-plot: The angst of being ex-Crusaders and now masterless warriors trying their best to get home in a land ravaged by disease. Encountering an unnamed evil and being forced to once again champion the Church. Another warrior struggles to overcome his own personal loss. (This angle could have easily been edited out, so that the focus remains on the main body of the movie. Instead it takes strength away from it.)
The core of the movie, which focuses on the witch (no one is sure if she is, actually, should I italicise that?), and transporting her from plague-ridden town to far-flung monastery where only the sacred monks based there can pass judgement on her. The many challenges presented even before the journey can begin: Do we take up this quest? How do we get there? Ah, a none too trusty villain knows the route. Carry on, then.
A complex stew requires a deft cook, one who knows how the proper amounts of this and that should go in and when, to bring out flavor and texture pleasing to the palate. Unfortunately Season of the Witch overextends in some and underdelivers in others. Closely-related films viewed in a marathon will reveal Witch’s weaknesses, but if you’re only looking for spec effects and someting brain-free a couple of hours, then Witch might be a good fit.