In the Middle Ages, witch-hunter, Kaulder, destroys the Witch Queen, but with her dying breath she curses him with eternal life. Eight hundred years later, a truce has formed a tenuous peace between humans and witches but there are still a few who wish to bring back the old days. Kaulder, who continues the fight against evil realises that the threat is much worse than he initially thought and, with only a few allies, he must face the fight of his very long life.

The Last Witch Hunter (2015) – Director: Breck Eisner

Is The Last Witch Hunter appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 106 mins

Starring: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood

Genre: Fantasy, Horror

**PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ONE SCENE IN THIS MOVIE CONTAINS AROUND TWO MINUTES OF INTENSE AND CONTINUOUS STROBE LIGHTING**

REVIEW

‘The Last Witch Hunter’ follows an immortal man (Diesel) in his never-ending battle against evil. His invincibility allows him to be tough and brave but his inherent goodness keeps him grounded, balanced and seeing the good in the people around him.

Vin Diesel, arguably most famous for his role as Dominic Toretto in the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise, finds himself in an entirely different role as a tired, lonely man who fights against evil, never quite knowing who he can trust. This type of character and the challenges he faces are nothing new but Diesel’s portrayal of a man who is strong but fair and entirely good brings a comfortable feel to the movie. The plot doesn’t do anything beyond the normal set pieces but this does not devalue the inherent charm of having a character the audience can root for.

Although the film is relatively predictable, it is a great deal of fun and brimming with exciting action sequences. ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ has entertainment in spades and although it’s violence is likely to be too strong for younger viewers, its adult tone sets it apart from similar movies which are often aimed at kids but struggle to get the tone right.

IS ‘THE LAST WITCH HUNTER’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

Several men enter a lair and are soon attacked by numerous witches. One man holds the handle of a weapon which suddenly sprouts sharp spines that cut into his hand; the bloody wounds are shown on-screen for a few seconds. He convulses, collapses to the ground and a swarm of flies fly out of his mouth which then attack other members of the group. One man screams in pain as his helmet is crushed by an unseen foe and another is dragged away into darkness.

Kaulder mildly flirts with a young woman and she is later seen leaving his apartment looking happy and slightly dishevelled. The dialogue between Kaulder and a friend about this is relaxed and generally vague but it will be clear to adults that Kaulder and the woman have been physically intimate.

A man is branded as part of a ritual, he willingly accepts it and grimaces in pain but does not suffer much. The wound is shown close-up and in detail but it is not gory, it looks very similar to a black tattoo with some redness and slight swelling underneath.

A character enters a derelict building and finds an old, scary doll sitting in a high chair, its head moves unnaturally and it bangs part of its chair continuously. This initially makes the character jump but he is not fazed by it. This scene is particularly tense and children who are afraid of old-fashioned dolls with fixed expressions are likely to be scared by this.

A huge metallic bewitched creature is used to take ‘bad’ witches to an enchanted prison. This is very scary as it has huge spikes all over its body and a large chamber which acts as its mouth that breathes fire. It snatches the convicted and drags them away screaming.

A woman is dragged through a portal into hell. Several aggressive creatures grab at her, pulling her in further; they push their faces close to hers and scream at her. This moment lasts for around a minute but is very intense and frightening.

An incidental character who has previously been seen to be on the ’good’ side is attacked in the street. The area they stand in is plunged into darkness so they are unseen but a crunching sound is heard and they cry out in pain.

There are some scenes which show the charred remains of two people who have died in a fire. In one scene, one of the bodies suddenly lurches back to life, their eyes appear afraid and they are clearly in pain. This body is still charred and the head is almost skeletal with some burned skin covering the skull; this could be very scary for a lot of kids.

A good character is strapped to a tree, he is scared and begs for mercy. Branches slither up his body, holding him in place and some enter his nostrils, he convulses and groans in pain. Later, another character comes across the body and an evil force speaks through it; his eyes and voice are threatening and menacing.

Several dead bodies are shown in graphic detail. One has a fly wriggling under their skin; in close-up it is squeezed out by another character. The bodies of witches turn to a grey, clay-like appearance and their skin sometimes crumbles away. There are a few graphic shots of bodies which have their glazed, dead eyes open.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘The Last Witch Hunter’ is predictable but thoroughly enjoyable. However, with a huge amount of strong violence and a generally adult tone, it is likely to be too intense for most kids. Although there is little blood shown, we are still surprised that this movie was given a ‘12A’ rating (as this level of violence is normally seen in ‘15’ rated films) and therefore we wouldn’t recommend this movie for under 12s and would even advise caution for those aged 12-15.

  • Violence: 5/5 (a lot of strong violence and injury inflicted on both good and bad characters including characters being stabbed in the hand and shoulder, one breaks their own bones in order to escape a dangerous situation (the bones are shown to be broken under their skin), another is stabbed in the throat and gags but no injury detail is seen. A man is thrown into a pit from a height and lands on his head; the camera shows his neck break and he slumps to the floor. Another character is shot several times, some blood spatter is seen but this isn’t gory)
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5 (a man’s family are dead but he often sees them in dreams)
  • Fear Factor: 5/5 (several intense scenes which lead to violence/action. The Witch Queen and her minions are all very scary with grotesque appearances)
  • Sexual Content: 2/5 (a man is seen in bed with his wife who kisses his bare shoulders. She appears to be fully clothed but intimacy is implied. Nothing graphic is seen and this only lasts for around 5 seconds)
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (infrequent mild to moderate cursing and blasphemy)
  • Dialogue: 4/5 (a character explains that when a building was beginning to be built, a mass grave was found, full of the bodies of slaves. The builders just filled this in and continued to build. A bad character describes how he killed someone by cutting them and making them bleed saying ‘I drip dried him like he was a stuck pig’. Another bad character tells a friend of someone he has murdered that they ‘died badly, screaming’)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of trusting the right people, the loneliness of existence, self-sacrifice, fighting for humanity even if all seems lost, seeing the good in unexpected people, religion, and the fight against evil forces.

Words by Laura Record

The Last Witch Hunter [Blu-ray] [2015]


New From: £6.59 GBP In Stock

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