Monday, September 26, 2011

Off the List: Season of the Witch

Season of the with was my latest impulse pull from Redbox. This movie actually was what I was hoping The Black Death would be - it was a historical fantasy piece, painted in varying shades of gray. (Things like the inquisition and witch hunting get a whole lot less clear-cut when you have actual supernatural evil power being tossed around.) The story was adequate, the characters were fine, and the twist at the end managed to catch me by surprise because it leveraged a supernatural element that had been previously unreferenced. It was merely okay overall; I'd call it a 3-star film, but it was definitely fine for what it was. And of course anything with Ron Perlman in it is automatically that much cooler for his participation.

RPG notes: As usual, this section contains major spoilers and should be skipped by those that don't want them. The twist was interesting - the "witch" was in fact neither innocent nor guilty, because she was a host for a demon that was as guilty as all get-out. This core idea would be very useful in a game (albeit used sparingly) and wouldn't even necessarily have to be limited to demonic possession. Alien parasites, psionic mind control, and even cybernetic implants can all create a similar situation where someone isn't in full control of their actions, but otherwise seems relatively normal. The ruthless church that, while dark and brutal, still wasn't entirely wrong made for some interesting moral complexity - it reminded me a bit of the followers of Sigmar in the Warhammer Fantasy setting. This work is a useful reference for a powerful religion with generally benign goals and teachings, but corrupt and ruthless followers. The demon's "incinerating embrace" attack is going to find its way into one of my games - mark my words. And then there's the whole theme of putting a supernatural or fantasy twist on actual world events, which has been a staple of many a GM toolbox for decades.

No comments:

Post a Comment