Prior to watching Seventh Son on Blu-ray, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical. Movies about wizards, witches, and mythical creatures in my opinion can either be hit or miss. This film falls into the hit category.
Academy Award-winners Jeff Bridges (Master Gregory) and Julianne Moore (Mother Malkin) deliver terrific performances and essentially carry the film. Other notable performances include Ben Barnes as Tom Ward and Alicia Vikander as Alice.
This fantasy film centres around Tom Ward, who is the seventh son of a seventh son. He works as a farmhand but has aspirations far beyond the fields and pastures. He was also born with a strange attribute. Tom has visions of the future. He has flashes of things that have yet to happen. That in itself could be considered a great power – however, it causes him to black out.
From the beginning we dive right into the story and are introduced to two key figures. The first being Master Gregory. He is certainly a unique individual to say the least. Master Gregory is what they refer to as a “spook” – a knight who defends humanity against supernatural forces.
Mother Malkin is a spook’s worst nightmare. She is the queen of the witches and an outright ruthless woman. Her intent is to use her dark powers to destroy all spooks so that she may rule with no opposition. Believe me when I tell you, she takes her job very seriously.
When we first meet Master Gregory and Mother Malkin, a young Gregory is locking the witch in a deep pit, located in the middle of nowhere. He secures the pit while Malkin screams and wails, begging him to release her. Although we don’t see her, we get the idea that she’s bad news.
From there we fast forward years later and catch up with Master Gregory. He and his apprentice are in a bar when their services are requested to help a child possessed by an evil spirit. When they arrive on the scene, they find a young girl wrapped in chains, looking visibly disturbed. Master Gregory makes his approach in an attempt to communicate with the spirit. The child speaks and he is shocked when he realizes who it is.
He demands to see the evil face-to-face and we are formally introduced to the queen of witches herself. A fight ensues and Gregory, with the help of his apprentice, struggle to contend with Malkin’s great power, not to mention her ability to turn into a fearsome dragon. Nonetheless, they get the witch subdued and almost contained when things go bad. Right before Gregory locks Malkin in a cage, she pulls the apprentice in with her. Gregory wants to burn her alive but is compelled to try and save his young counterpart. He decides that for the safety of humanity he cannot pass up the opportunity and lights the cage on fire. Walking away, he figures the queen is dead, but when the mighty dragon emerges from the flames, he vows to track her down.
This is where the adventure truly begins. Master Gregory must now find a new apprentice, one who is a seventh son. As you can imagine there aren’t too many sevenths around so it doesn’t take long to track one down. Enter Tom Ward. Gregory meets with the Ward family and informs them of the situation at hand. Tom is ready to go but his mother is reluctant. She allows him to leave but not before giving him a necklace, one she claims will keep him safe.
Teacher and student then venture off on their mystical journey to face the queen and her army of supernatural assassins. From that point on the storytelling and action pull you further into their world.
Two things that really made this movie work were the special effects and the locations. Stunning landscapes brought the fantasy to life. Lavish forests and rolling hills added to the visual appeal while the effects were used when they needed to be, without becoming a distraction.
The Blu-ray offers a variety of special features. The two I found most interesting were the alternate ending and the origin of the seventh son. The original ending made sense and worked well in my opinion. The alternate could have easily worked as well, making it difficult to choose. I also like that they included an explanation behind where the ideas came from. The history behind the seventh son is explained in detail. I was already intrigued by the story and this feature made me appreciate it even more.
A visual effects gallery and a behind-the-scenes into the making of the film are also offered. This is a good film that is only enhanced when you factor in the exclusive features. Pick up a copy and prepare for an action-filled adventure. ~ Andree Rhooms