Season of the Witch appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie came with a generally good presentation.
Dark scenes were the most problematic. The movie featured a moderate amount of day for night material, and those shots tended to look a bit murky; it became somewhat tough to discern the action in these low-light elements. Blacks were pretty good, though, and shadow detail was usually adequate.
Sharpness was fine. A few slightly soft wide shots occurred, but those were rare and not especially contentious. I noticed no issues with jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement didn’t appear.
Source flaws remained absent, and colors were decent. The movie usually opted for a blue tint that gave it a chilly feel; some amber sequences also appeared, but the blues dominated. Within the design constraints, the hues were fine. The thickness of the low-light shots was the main concern here; paired with some softness, I thought this was a “B-“ image.
As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it tended to be acceptable but somewhat lackluster. My main issue stemmed from its volume level, as it was mastered low; even when I cranked up my receiver past its normal spot, the audio remained somewhat wan and punchless. Occasional moments of mild power occurred – such as during battles – but the track usually remained less dynamic than expected.
That dampened its impact and left it without real power. Audio quality was fine overall, though. Speech seemed concise and natural, and music showed reasonable clarity. Effects also sounded accurate and lacked distortion. None of these elements had much zing to them, though.
The soundfield was more satisfying, as the track used the five channels well. Battles and supernatural elements fared the best, as these opened up the spectrum in a satisfying way that involved the viewer – or would’ve if the mix had boasted more power. This was a decent track but it was too flat to deserve a grade above a “B-“.
Don’t expect a lot of extras here. Seven Deleted Scenes go for a total of nine minutes, 56 seconds. These include “Shore” (1:05), “Cardinal” (1:34), “Leaving Marburg” (1:11), “Wormwood Forest” (0:54), “Holy Water” (1:41), “Courtyard” (1:11”) and “Prologue Unrated” (2:20). We also find an Alternate Ending (9:20). The “Prologue Unrated” barely makes any changes, and the others tend to offer additional exposition, none of which adds to the story; these are all pretty forgettable omissions.
As for the “Alternate Ending”, don’t expect much from it. Actually, its content remains pretty similar – all the same things happen to the same characters – but the “Alternate” is a little less action-oriented and features a more human-seeming villain. It’s probably a superior conclusion because it’s not as silly, but it’s not a big change.
Two featurettes follow. Becoming the Demon lasts eight minutes, 29 seconds and provides remarks from producer Alex Gartner, Tippett Studio art director Nathan Fredenburg, Tippett Studio CG supervisor Aharon Bourland, Tippett Studio compositing supervisor David Schnee, and Tippett Studio animation supervisor James W. Brown. The show looks at the makeup and effects used to create a supernatural character. It provides a nice nuts and bolts take on the subject.
On a Crusade fills six minutes, seven seconds with notes from Gartner, stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong, and 2nd unit director Vic Armstrong. They detail the work put into the action-oriented Crusades sequences and give us a solid overview of the choreography and stunts.
The disc finishes with the film’s trailer. Unusually, it includes no promos for any other movies.
A second disc offers a Digital Copy of Season. As always, this lets you transfer the flick to a computer or portable thing-thang. Go right ahead!
As a supernatural tale, Season of the Witch falls flat. While its story creates potential intrigue, it develops in a dull manner that offers little excitement or drama. The Blu-ray comes with decent but unexceptional picture and audio as well as some minor supplements. The film’s not a total loss, but it’s pretty forgettable.