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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Only the 'seventh son', Tom Ward (Barnes), has the power to help stop an evil, shape-shifting witch named Malkin (Moore), who having escaped from imprisonment, will come to power during a Blood Moon night. Before Ward can even hope to have a chance, he must be trained in the art of battling the supernatural by the Spook, John Gregory (Bridges).
John Gregory is the last survivor of a group of knights who used to, in days of old, battle all manner of evil, be it from this world or the next. As the last man standing - or in his case, hunched over a bar stool in a tavern and nursing a pint of ale - he is now grizzled and old. Gregory is approached by his apprentice for a mission - recapturing Malkin, who has escaped her remote confinement from what looks like the medieval version of the Grand Canyon. While Gregory (whose warbling speech sounds like he has a mouth full of marbles) manages to survive various battles, his apprentices aren't that fortunate. Gregory later turns up at Ward's country home. The latter often has visions that are meant to convey that he can look into the future, and is according to Gregory, the one who can stop Malkin before the Blood Moon rises in the near future. Initially bumbling, Ward gradually finds his depth, along with a love interest in Alice (Vikander) who is the daughter of a witch named Lizzie (Traue). It all leads up to the final battle between Malkin and her monsters versus the Spook and Ward.
The sets look like budget Lord of the Rings and the script isn't really much to write home about. Almost no backstory is offered for any of the main characters or how they connect and it's also unclear whether the movie is set in medieval Europe or some fantasy world.
To be fair, it's apparent that the most effort has gone into the visual effects and the battles, which are the two redeeming factors about this film.
The film is an adaptation of the book The Spook’s Apprentice. In this case, the seventh son is the last apprentice.
Both the lead role and Julianne Moore’s role was initially supposed to be played by different actors before the final pair were decided on.
Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore acted together in The Big Lebowski.
In a scene where Gregory is in a bar, the liquid he is consuming was said to be real ale.
A R Rahman was initially involved with the soundtrack but dropped out.
In the film, silver is said to drive away spirits. In spiritual circles, this is really regarded to be the case.
The sets are a mix of medieval Europe and ancient Arabic themes.
Seventh Son is filmed mostly in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Having a long-running partnership with the producer of the film, Warner Bros. was originally supposed to release the film. While the advertising material for the film was already being prepared, both the parties agreed upon ending the partnership. This is why the old posters of the film still feature the Warner Bros. logo.
The film was slated for a 2014 release but given the production delays, it was pushed for a 2015 release.
Tuomas Kantelinen and Indian music director AR Rahman were supposed to be working on the film's original score. But it was due to the production delays that the two of them decided to drop out.
Ward and Bridges speak with an American accent almost throughout, with no attempt seemingly being made to speak in a geographically neutral way.
The film opens in flashback format where we see the witch/queen Mother Malkin being imprisoned in a deep hole high atop a mountain. The cage is secured by fire and the only thing that can cause the witch to regain her powers is when a Red Moon occurs in the sky. When it does, the witch is free and Gregory is alerted about this by his assistant Billy Bradley and so, after arming themselves with the necessary items to battle with Malkin in order to imprison her again before she unleashes her brand of evil on the townsfolk. Gregory and Bradley visit a Church where they see Malkin has possessed the body of a little overpowers them and at the last minute, wraps her tail around Bradley and pulls him into the containment cage with her. She then kills him and Gregory bemoans that he has lost an apprentice who it took a good ten years to train.
However, Gregory makes his way to Tom Ward, who by day takes care of his father's farm and dreams of a bigger destiny than merely taking care of livestock. He also gets epileptic-like seizures now and then, much to the alarm of his little sister. But his mother, who is later revealed to be a witch herself, tells her son that he has a bigger destiny ahead and that all the strength he needs is already in him. She tells him to have the courage to look deep within himself to tap into this strength. She also gives him a powerful amulet to wear around his neck. This, she says, will protect him.
Gregory takes Ward under his wing, knowing that the latter is a 'Seventh Son' and he alone can take on Malkin. At first, Ward does not make much of an impression as he bungles various tasks and tests almost routinely, much to Gregory's dismay. In fact, Gregory almost gives up on the lad until they are accosted by a giant monster - said to be un-slayable - and kills him after plunging into a waterfall whilst grappling with the monster. This finally impresses Gregory. Meanwhile, Ward's friendship with Alice blossoms into love. Ward does not know that Alice's mother Bony - also a witch who transforms into some kind of monster bird - is in the service of Malkin. Alice is therefore understandably hesitant to reveal who she is to Ward at first for fear of driving him away. Bony knows her daughter is in love with Ward and tells her that she will make sure that no harm comes to Ward, who himself does not really want to go about killing creatures, much as Gregory would want him to. Ward has a merciful streak. What also bonds the young couple is the fact that both of them have a parent who is a witch, the other parent in both cases, being human. Malkin meets Alice and tells her to steal the amulet that Ward's mother Mam gave him. In return, she will not kill Ward. Unknown to Alice, the amulet once belonged to Malkin and is the most potent item in her arsenal of magic. When Alice meets Ward one day, she does indeed steal the amulet. Not out of greed but only because Ward's safety was guaranteed. She also asks Ward to come away with her and settle down with her so that they can lead their own lives together. Meanwhile, when Malkin finds out that Gregory and Ward killed one of her henchmen (again a shapeshifter who toggles between human and giant grizzly bear) they all head to the nearest town to get revenge. Malkin confronts and kills Mam, after the latter kills one of Malkin's main monsters.
The scene is soon set for the final showdown. With the amulet now in her possession, Malkin lures Gregory to join forces with her. He, being under her spell, almost agrees but at the last minute, Alice intervenes and snatches the amulet from Malkin's neck and runs away. Malkin goes after her but Bony prevents Malkin (in monster avatar) from killing her daughter. All of Malkin's monsters are soon dispatched and in the end, when she tries to kill Gregory (who was once apparently her lover) but Ward kills her in the nick of time.
Mission now accomplished, Gregory gives Ward the seal of approval - a branding on his hand - and goes on his own way. Alice and Ward also say their farewells as he chooses carrying on the Spook's legacy instead of settling down with her.