Story

The opening scene of Seventh Son shows witch-hunter Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) imprisoning an evil shape-shifting witch, Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), in a deep prison on top of a mountain. He hopes this is where she will stay forever. 

Decades pass. With the rising of the ‘Blood Moon’ Mother Malkin gains new power and escapes her prison, bent on seeking revenge against Gregory. Before long Gregory and Mother Malkin do battle. Mother Malkin kills Gregory’s apprentice, William Bradley (Kit Harington), and escapes to her mountain fortress. 

After William’s death, Gregory searches for a new apprentice, who must be the seventh son of a seventh son. Tomas Ward (Ben Barnes) is given the position. Master Gregory doesn’t know that Tom has supernatural powers that enable him to see the future. This is because his mother is a witch. 

Gregory and his new apprentice set off to hunt down and destroy Mother Malkin, who is gathering together a host of demonic minions. Along the way Tom encounters a beautiful young woman named Alice (Alicia Vikander), and the pair quickly falls for each other. 

Themes

Supernatural powers; good and evil; demonic possession 

Violence

Seventh Son has extended sequences of intense fantasy violence, including the use of swords, knives, staffs, axes and chains. There are many violent and sometimes gruesome deaths, although the movie shows minimal blood and gore. For example:

  • There is a stylised and comical fight between a younger man and an older, drunk man. The older man hits the younger man in the groin, face and body with a tankard full of beer. The younger man tries to strike the older man with his sword but fails to connect. The older man finally hits the younger man in the head with the tankard, and the younger man falls to the ground unconscious.
  • A gigantic ferocious bear imprisoned in a cage breaks out and attacks two men. It transforms into a man and attacks one of the men. The bear-man exchanges kicks and punches with the men. The cage crashes down on top of the bear-man, and another man wraps a chain around its throat, chaining it to the floor. Someone pours a cauldron of oil over the bear-man and sets it on fire. It is burned alive. We see flames and hear it screaming.
  • A witch uses her tail to impale a warrior through the back. The warrior bursts into flames and turns to ash.
  • A monster chases two men. They jump off a high cliff and into a river below to escape. The monster jumps off the cliff in pursuit, snatching up one of the men in its giant hand and dragging the man beneath the water. The man stabs the monster in the hand and then in the back as they are swept over a high waterfall. The man survives the fall, but the monster is brutally killed when his head is bashed against rocks as he falls.
  • Several witches fly through the air and attack a city by crashing through a heavy wooden gate. The witches transform into dragons, gigantic lizards and many-armed warriors. They attack and kill people at random. A giant lizard and a dragon pick up men in their jaws and swallow them (no blood is shown). A warlock with four arms wields four swords, attacking and killing men. A witch impales a snake-man against a pole, and he explodes in flames and disintegrates.
  • In a major clash between witches, warlocks and witch-hunters, a witch stabs someone in the throat with her long fingernails. A young man smashes another man in the face several times with the handle of his sword. Another man is stabbed between the eyes with a dagger. Numerous dead bodies lie on the ground, including a young man with blood on his face, throat and neck.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Seventh Son has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • There are many scary fantasy beasts and monsters, as well as witches and warlocks who transform into monsters. These include a witch who transforms into a skeletal winged dragon with long talons and sharp needle-like teeth, a warrior with four arms who wields four swords at once, and a gigantic ferocious bear that transforms several times into a man and back into a bear.  
  • Several scenes show ghosts that appear as transparent corpses. They float through the air and dissipate like smoke blowing away in the wind. 

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, Seventh Son has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • A 10-year-old girl, who is possessed by a demon, is chained to a stone pillar. A man places a chain around the girl’s throat and black smoke-like tendrils escape from her body.
  • A woman wears a metal mask. We hear that she has been burned. When she removes the mask, her face appears as though made of white ash. When a witch touches the face, the skin spontaneously heals and the woman’s face looks young.
  • A young man lifts the visor of a suit of armour to reveal a human skull. The armour begins to glow red and becomes animated with red glowing eyes. It attacks the young man. 
  • A witch offers another witch a ‘blood cake’. This is a tart filled with congealed blood with wriggling worms squirming around inside. The witch takes a bite and licks her fingers.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the violent and scary scenes described above.

Over 13
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the violent and scary scenes described above.

Sexual references

Seventh Son has some scenes that show mild flirting and characters talking about love.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Seventh Son shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Characters in a tavern drink from tankards. Gregory drinks from a tankard and acts in a drunk way, slurring his words and stumbling around. 
  • Gregory carries a hip flask and says he is allowed only one mouthful a day.

Nudity and sexual activity

Seventh Son has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Women wear low-cut and clinging clothing.
  • Characters kiss passionately.
  • A young man and a young woman lie together on a bed. Both are clothed, but it looks like they have had sex.
  • Two men are shown from the back urinating on a fire.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

Seventh Son has some coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Seventh Son is a fantasy action adventure, which is very loosely based on The Last Apprentice book series by Joseph Delaney. It is targeted at older teenagers and adult fans of fantasy movies, which is a more mature audience than the books.

There are several scary characters and scenes of transformations and violent deaths. These are likely to disturb younger viewers, including many younger teenagers.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • Most of life’s curses can be gifts.
  • You can’t escape your destiny.
  • Live your own life.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the following:

  • Persistence: Gregory never gives up his relentless fight against evil.
  • Selflessness: Tom’s mother, who is a witch, selflessly puts herself in danger to protect people who can’t protect themselves. She sacrifices her own life to protect others.

You could also talk with your children about the gender stereotyping in this movie.