I have to say one thing
first before getting into the rest of the review, this would have to be
one of the best uses of subtitles I have seen, possibly ever, and I can
tell you right now that I watch a LOT of foreign cinema. In case you do
not know, the story is about vampires, and the light and dark side of
vampirism. It is set in Russia.
Our main character is
the vampire Anton Gorodetsky, a Light Other with some very dark
tendencies. He is tasked with safekeeping the young boy Yegor, who the
Dark are very interested in, for reasons that you will simply have to
watch the movie to discover, otherwise I’ll be wrecking the whole darn
thing for you.
The movie opens with
Yegor being called telepathically by a group of Dark Others. As the
subtitles appear on the screen blood red, they drift away as though
blood is dispersing in water. This only occurs during the Calling and
the effect is wonderful. Other times, the subtitles slam against the
screen with such force that your teeth rattle.
The entire film is shot
beautifully against gritty and grimy backdrops of the city with some
special effects that are just wonderful to watch. A nice touch to the
whole vampire type story is that the movie doesn’t delve too deeply into
the mysticism of the vampire and as such we are left wondering about the
traditional weaknesses such as holy relics, daylight and the like. Do
they work on Dark Others? Or are these tools simply not used due the
fact that the “good guys” in this instance are actually vampires
The tools these Others
use are technology and lots of it. Fighting Dark Others is a science and
the process of identifying and cataloguing all known Dark and Light
others is computerised through what appears to be an extensive “tree”
system that links all Others together through their relationships with
each other. Speaking of relationships, you have to see the introduction
of Anton’s partner to believe it, simply amazing, however it was the
only time that I thought that such an interesting character was
underdeveloped. Hopefully in the other parts of the trilogy, the partner
will be shown off some more.
Despite all this, there
is currently a Truce in place between Light and Dark that Anton has
inadvertently broken during an altercation with a Dark Other. This
results in there being a great deal of unrest between the two forces
that is complicated by the sudden presence of a vortex that is
threatening to destroy the city in the form of a cursed doctor. Dark and
Light must begrudgingly work together to face this common threat.
I do have to say that if
you are into vampires or just extremely cool foreign films, this movie
is a total must see experience. The story and acting are excellent,
along with stellar effects and of course those subtitles…
In fact the only lame
thing about the whole film is the cover so please don’t judge a movie by
it’s cover in this case as you will be ripping yourself off!
Make sure you check it
*Please note this is a
review on the movie itself, not the features of the DVD. This review
will be updated upon retail release.
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