Trent Ernst, Editor
Nearly three years after film makers were in town filming a scene for Seventh Son, the movie is finally seeing wide release this weekend.
The movie tells the story of Thomas, the youngest son in a rather large family. As you probably can guess, he has six older brothers. Turns out, though, his father was also the seventh son, making him the seventh son of a seventh son.
This is significant for Iron Maiden fans, as it was the title of their seventh studio album. It is also a concept from folklore that the seventh son of a seventh son would hold special powers. In the Wardstone Chronicle series by Joseph Delaney, upon which this movie is based, only the seventh son of a seventh son can become a Spook—one of fights supernatural evil.
Twelve-year-old Tom (played in the movie by 32-year-old Ben Barnes), becomes the apprentice of Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges), who trains him in the art of taking on ghosts, ghasts, witches and boggarts.
He is not Gregory’s first apprentice, the previous ones having met a bad end while training to become a Spook. Tom meets a young girl who turns out to be a witch, who tricks him into freeing one of the most dangerous creatures that the Spook has imprisoned, a witch named Mother Malkin.
The books are kid-horror, full of spooky scenes and things that go bump in the night. The movie, on the other hand, looks like it will be big and bombastic, full of special effects delivered by master effects artist John Dykstra (best known for a little film called Star Wars).
Early reviews of the film are less than stellar. It invests lots in effects and locations but “not enough in an original story anyone cares about,” says Jordan Mintzer of the Hollywood Reporter. “What’s left is certainly watchable but far from memorable. If anything, the movie offers up the guilty pleasure of seeing Bridges and Moore duel it out in front of countless green screens and a few stunning Canadian backdrops — trying to survive in the netherworld of heroic kitsch.”
Over at Variety, Peter Debruge is also less than impressed with the movie set in “what appears to be medieval British Columbia,” calling it “nothing short of a creative miscarriage.
Fine. We weren’t expecting much from the movie, which nearly got lost in the machinations of the Hollywood Machine. The books the movie is based on has its fans, but the first two books were tepid and uninteresting, and the addition of a special effects budget appears to have done nothing to improve the story.
What we do care about is seeing Kinuseo on the big screen. And while we haven’t seen the movie yet, we have seen a few clips of Kinuseo show up in the trailer.
Like the rest of the movie, the falls have been dressed up in a layer of special effects footage. The falls, as seen in the International trailer, have been extended and made taller, and the area where the viewing platform is gone, digitally replaced. The left side of the falls now mirrors the right. Parts of Kinuseo have been digitally eliminated, while other parts, including a prominent rock outcropping, has been added.
Indeed, if we didn’t know it was Kinuseo Falls, we wouldn’t know it was Kinuseo Falls, such has it been altered. But this is to be expected from Hollywood.
But knowing all this, I still plan on seeing the movie, though possibly not on the big screen because, while it has been given a digital nip and tuck, Kinuseo Falls is still a special place, and I’m looking forward to seeing it on the big screen, if only for a few moments.