Hello, friends. Well...it's 2011...and here we have the first genre-ish film of the year. Dominic Sena's Season of the Witch starring Nicolas Cage. It's not really a horror movie, per se....but, it does contain medieval demons and witches and what not...so, it might be interesting....right? Well...I can pretty much tell you....no. I haven't seen the film, yet....nor do I plan on watching the film anytime soon. So, why should I pan a film that I haven't seen despite currently owning a 2% on the Tomatometer? Is this the kind of thing that the mighty Film Deviant will be about?? Non-reviews telling you to avoid certain films based on nothing??? Not entirely. You see....unlike some other horror sites, I actually do care about what you, my devoted horror film fan (or any film fan for that matter), spend your hard earned money on at the cineplex. I want you to have the best possible experience whenever you sit down to watch a film for the first time...barring the annoying idiot that sits down behind you in the theater constantly kicking the back of your chair as if he's watching a fucking soccer match. So, no...I have not seen Season of the Witch and I'm not going to, either...however, I am not basing it on nothing. You see, I have 5 easy steps that will show you why this film is a waste of your money and time.
Here we go...
1. Dominic Sena
While I enjoyed Halle Berry's boobies in Swordfish and Eleanor in Gone in 60 Seconds, both films were kind of forgettable. I did my best to sit through the entire running time of Whiteout mostly because of my infatuation with Kate Beckinsale. Dominic Sena does not make good films. He makes films that make a lot of noise and look slick at times....but, with no real substance added. So, the end result is something, while visually cool looking, you probably won't remember once you pull into your driveway. Had someone like Neil Marshall been attached to this film, my interest would have been a bit more palpable.
2. The Nicolas Cage factor
Nicolas Cage is a good actor...when he wants to be. He's one of those guys that has an eccentric personal life and a batty nature that kind of bleeds into his personality onscreen. The best Nic Cage performance as far as I am concerned is his Sailor Ripley in David Lynch's Wild at Heart. It's a performance that characterized what he is capable of when he's running on all 8 cylinders. However when he's off...we get hilarity like this...
3. Production Issues
The film's script has been shopped around film studios since 2000 until, finally, Relativity purchased the film rights and filming officially started in 2008. Once the filming wrapped in April of 2009 the film makers were not happy with what they had so, they regrouped with the cast several months later to reshoot some action scenes in front of a green screen. Usually, when you hear about stuff like this it means that the film was missing something. Perhaps a twist crucial to the plot that was written a decade ago? No...some cool fight scenes with a full CGI background. Hmmm.....isn't that like purchasing really expensive 24 inch Dubs for your Pontiac Aztek in hopes of making it look cool? In the end, crap is crap and an Aztek is a vehicle that should be driven off a ravine.
4. The PG-13 Factor
Ok...sometimes films like The Ring and Drag Me to Hell come out that present good arguments for the relevance of a PG-13 film. Sometimes it doesn't matter what a film is rated because of the sheer talents in front of and behind of the cameras. Whenever a good product is released, the end result speaks for itself despite what rating the MPAA has in store. However, a PG-13 rating is usually a red flag that tells the potential viewer that a certain film is not really hardcore but it's not really a family picture, either. It's rated that way in order to get more teenagers in theater seats despite the quality of the film. It's usually a marketing technique designed to make as much money as a film can make. The cash over quality method usually spells trouble for a film about a medieval Nicolas Cage running around Europe with a witch.
Hey...I like a good action sequence developed on someone's MacBook as much as the next guy...but, have you seen the trailer to this film??? The CGI looks fucking embarrassing. It looks like someone spliced a video game intro into a film about a medieval Nicolas Cage running around Europe with a witch. I was waiting for Kevin Butler to walk in at the end to tell you how awesome Sony Playstation is. The whole film looks as if it's a CGI overload of dumb ideas and stupid characters. I wish the producers looked into bringing someone like Neil Marshall into this film to really bring in a feeling of substance. That guy can make a gritty medieval film amazing without the help of CGI. I'm surprised this film wasn't converted to 3D.
So, there you have it friends. A simple 5 step plan to avoid Season of the Witch at the local theater this weekend. In times like these it is important to send the message to Hollywood to stop making trash like this by not spending your hard earned dollar on these insipid films. Save your money for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. It comes out in a couple of weeks and it is co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro...a man with a quality track record equivalent to that of Mariano Rivera's.
BTW...why not opt for Halloween III: Season of the Witch this weekend, instead. I'm sure it is a much better film....AND(!) it has the legendary Tom Atkins in it...
Thanks for reading,