Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Season of the Witch" (2011)

The use of religious imagery in horror: 2. The Cautionary Tale

This film is an attempt at an atmospheric, horror-action film set in the Middle Ages that fails pretty badly. That being said, there is a pretty interesting take on Religion and spirituality being presented.

Nick Cage and Ron Pearlman play knights in the service of the Catholic Church in one of the Crusades. They believe that they are serving God by killing infidels, but suffer a crisis of faith when they realize that the Church wants them to kill women and children. They do not abandon their belief in God, they just cease to trust the Church as His voice on Earth. They quit their commissions, basically become apostates, and go on the run. In a village on their way home, they are discovered and forced by a Bishop to go on one last mission. They are to deliver a witch to a monastery to be judged.

The film suffers from the poor production choices that plague all B movies, but this play with the untrustworthiness of religious institutions and systems in a reality where spirituality and the supernatural clearly exist is interesting.

The mistrust of human religions—including the human religious systems developed within the Christian faith—are one of the main sources of atheism. People see the fraud and manipulation on display and reject the system. (This can be a good thing in many cases.) However, for some reason, these people also reject a belief in God and spirituality. They don’t just toss out the human interpretations, they toss out the real message of the Bible.

In “Season of the Witch” evil uses the untrustworthiness of religion for its own purposes. In a way the Catholic Church is evil’s best ally. I think that is often the case with Christianity today. The Church can be its own worst enemy when it ceases to be about God’s love and focuses more on religious systems.

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