Seventh Son of course is based on the Spooks young adult book series written by Joseph Delaney. Starring Ben Barnes (Thomas Ward), Jeff Bridges (Master Gregory or the Spook), Julianne Moore (Mother Malkin) and Alicia Vikander (Alice) among others. A face based fantasy adventure romp where a Spook travels from town to town saving the villagers from the darkness and dark beings. Mother Malkin is the Queen of the Witches, who years ago he laid in a prison thinking she could not escape. The blood moon starts to rise and her power growing, Mother Malkin manages to escape to go after Gregory, killing his current apprentice. Gregory goes in search of another seventh son of a seventh son to apprentice, finding one in Thomas before going back after the one that got away.

Growing up I loved this book series, still do. Yes it had to be grown up to reach a larger audience, as a children's story it just wouldn't have worked as well. Its full of big actors, flashy effects, and a very good plot. It is a very enjoyable movie. Even if you end up cheering the witch to murder the pretty useless apprentice at the beginning of the film.

Downsides are it is an extremely fast paced movie, jumping from plot point to plot point before you really have time to take in what has just happened. Several of the books have been combined into the one rather short movie, leaving the huge reveal about Tom's heritage rushed far too quickly. A past that yes is important to know, but should really have been stretched over more than one movie to allow the viewer time to adjust to all the major changes.

Another downside is Alice was extremely underplayed, and just really used as an object to toy with Tom's heart. Instead of the much more fiery and important character she should be playing, perhaps because we already had two strong female characters in Mother Malkin and Bony Lizzie (Antje Traue). Hopefully these things can be corrected if/when a second movie is brought out in the series. I await the extended version dvd eagerly to see if they have balanced out the film better, a film that could easily have taken an extra 40 minutes of screen time.


Sarah Beth James

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