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Average review score based on 28 user reviews
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I love horror flicks (or pretty much any flick that's done well, for that matter). So, when I saw the ads for a new "Matrix-y" horror trilogy, I was intrigued. Then I heard that this came from Russia, and I was even moreso intrigued, my dear comrade. So, I tooks me chances and rushed out to rent Nightwatch.
I always thought that the best horror films were tours of a sort. Leading you into a vast strange world of darkness and despair (much like a visit to a port-a-potty during a downtown New Years Eve Celebration), with each turn showing a different layer of the dark world around you. If done well, each character (posing as tour guides of sorts), and obstacle brinks you not only to the point of terror and entertainment, but of enlightenment as well.
Night Watch provides such a tour, and does it pretty damn well. Based on the novels by Sergei Lukyanenko (try saying that name three times with a mouth full of beer nuts), the storyline has full scope, covering an eternal battle of good and evil between supernatural beings called Dark and light "Others" that walk the world among us.
The film begins with a great medieval battle between clans. After some bloodshed (blood is good!) both sides quickly realize that they are too evenly matched and their war cannot be won. So, they declare an unsteady truce. It gets even more interesting as we move into present day, where the activities of the others have now been departmentalized to the point of actually 'licensing' such fun pastimes as vampire sirings and such. They even have their own police force which sometimes lurks within a dark dimension called The Gloom.
Aside from the inventive dynamics, there is a pretty decent story here. It even includes a prophecy (gotta love prophecies) about an Other child who will tip the scales of good and evil (gotta love scales, too) depending on which side it will choose. Oh yeah, there's also a cursed woman (No, I mean REALLY cursed!) who you really wouldn't want to take home to momma -- or even hold hand with for that matter -- who can end the world as we know it just by being alive (I think she's related to Tom Arnold, but not sure of that).
There are also interesting characters. In this world lies Vampires, shapeshifters, mystical healers, and seers (our main character is a seer, and has a very meaty role in the story) which brings a little variety to the film.
All in all, the story and execution of Night Watch is very well done. The plot can be a little incomprehensible at times but, for those wanting something inventive and different in their horror, this is the flick for you. The special effects are pretty seamless and actually add to the play instead of overpowering the scenes where they are placed (something of a trend in films nowadays). I suggest that you rent this bad boy before purchasing if possible. I've noticed people shrugging whenever I mention that the film is Russian, in spite of its cleverness.
And now, I must run my errands. But be careful, the gloom is always near, and I think I saw some Dark Others working the DMV yesterday. Not that I'm surprised . . .
Nightwatch is a great film for both fans of the Vampire genres, and those who simply like a good, if not a little bizarre, adventure romp. It is very unique and original in terms of both its setting and the special effects, and sports a storyline that breathes new life in the otherwise done to undeath world of vampires.
It is based on a series of Russian novels that have since been franchised to the extent of Lord of the Rings in the west. The basic premise is that two rival factions of vampires forged a truce to end centuries of war and created a set of laws or codes that are enforced by both sides. The Nightwatch are essentially the good guys, and the Daywatch (the title to the sequel film) watch over the good guys.
We follow the main character as he begins a quest to find a new character who has the power to undo everything. This makes the film somewhat similar to classic crime-noir detective stories of the US. In many ways this film is comparable to the classic Bladerunner in the sense that it meshes genres together in a new an interesting way. The special effects rival that of any mega-Hollywood blockbuster, and it has an interesting and unique storyline. Its exploration of an "other-world" is also reminiscent of films like Dark City.
This is a must have for any would-be vampire fans, but those who are into science fiction and action/adventure films will also really enjoy this. It makes a great gift for those who are unfamiliar with the phenomenon and something they can treasure.
Go rent or buy this film! Of all the Russian movies I've seen in my life, this was the first. (And therefore the best.)
But don't let the lack of a suitable sample dissuade you from heeding my advice; this movie compares quite favorably with most Hollywood films in terms of story, originality, special effects, and creativity. I would put it on a par with the first Underworld movie, when taken overall.
True, you have to put up with subtitles for the dialogue, but the producers of this film even found a way to be creative with them. Subtitles fading with the scene, wavering when the characters are enraged, turning blood red when a vampire hungers - it was really quite a fun effect!
So, what's the story about? Briefly, it is about a time of relative peace bridging times of bloody war waged between the supernatural forces of dark and light. In the past the leader of the side of light brokered an uneasy truce that lasted a thousand years, rather than allow both sides to destroy each other, but it's all out the window when the one who is prophesied to turn the tide in the favor of the forces of darkness comes into his own. The battle will begin again if no one can prevent the dark host from turning the chosen one to their side.
What impressed me most was the balance of creativity and solid storytelling in this movie. Often you see new and unusual films like this sacrifice plot or coherence to highlight all the wicked special effects and trippy sequences, but Night Watch stays true to itself by telling a good story first.
Since there's no option for 4 1/2 of 5, I rounded down. I wouldn't want to mislead anyone, as I have seen better movies. However, this film is definitely the most original I have seen in quite a while.
Check it out.
I am a big fan of vampire films. I liked Quentine Tarentino's Dusk Till Dawn trilogy. So when i heard that he gave the film Night Watch a thumbs way up i had to see it. He was absalutely right it rocks. That man is not only a great director but also a great movie reviewer. I think that the cast in Night Watch are all excellent. My favorite character is anton the vampire he is hot!Lots of kick ass action and awesome music and effects. It is a must for any other vampire/action fan to add to there movie collection.
I purchased Night Watch because I had heard it was an excellent foreign film. It is no doubt one of the greatest films I have seen to date. It has amazing story and effects, even the subtitles.