Why the vitriol? The blogosphere has lit up in recent days with some staggering hate for "Season of the Witch," Nicolas Cage's supernatural tale of evil spirits haunting Europe during the Crusades.

Honestly, there are two ways to assess a movie: You can critique it for what you think it should have aspired to be or you can critique it on the grounds of what filmmakers themselves attempted to create. And with the latter sort of critical assessment, "Season of the Witch" hardly deserves all this fury, especially given how Cage describes his approach to the film. The actor stars, alongside Ron Perlman, as a warrior recruited to ferry a suspected witch to a bunch of monks in the hope of curing a devastating plague outbreak.

"I think at some point I wanted to make movies that celebrated actors like Christopher Lee and Vincent Price, and the great Roger Corman classics that are unafraid to explore the paranormal and the supernatural," Cage explained to MTV News. "These are the kind of movies that I personally watch, so it's a very honest expression for me."

When you realize that Cage and director Dominic Sena were aspiring to make a film in the vein of something like "Attack of the Crab Monsters," it becomes clearer why "Season of the Witch" plays out the way it does. Which is not to say the movie, which hit theaters on Friday (January 7), is some B-movie masterpiece — hardly. Seriously: not a chance. But it's still quite entertaining.

It's hard to tire of Cage as proud Behman and Perlman as meathead Felson riffing back and forth in what Cage calls "a great buddy movie [with] a road-trip element to it."

"Whereas Behman has a very well-articulated idea of his relationship to country and church and spirituality and God, Felson has none," Perlman explained. "He doesn't bother to spend any time thinking about that. His only thought is the next drink, the next night of whoring, and how to create as much mayhem on the battlefield as is humanly possible."

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