Priest Unrated: Film Review
Scott Charles Stewart directs an action-horror film based off the graphic novel series by Min-Woo Hyung. Priest is essentially vampires versus priests. But neither are what you would expect. These priests are inhumanly fast, agile, and coordinated. These vampires? More gargoyle-ish than human. They are definitely not the undead.
A combination between Gollum and the aliens from Aliens Vs Predator, the vampires in Priest are pretty much the creepiest vampires that I have seen to date. They do not have eyes, nor any visible nose. Since the eyes are the windows to the soul, the Clergy has deemed them soulless. But they do not lack intelligence, and they have no compunctions about using strategy or even trickery to corner a victim.This strategical nature--and their super fast reflexes--makes them even creepier. I commend the creators of these creatures! Because of the vampires, I'd say this movie is a tad more horror than it's credited.
Priests and The Clergy.
The priests were recruited--and by "recruited" I of course mean that many children were basically stolen from their parents so that the government could have a set of super soldiers with religious righteousness and skewed morals. They were trained and then set on the vampires in the last Vampire War.
Now that the war is over, the Clergy has forbidden the priests from interacting with one another, and they now have trouble even finding jobs. Times are hard for everyone. As a modern allusion to struggling war vets and the common poor in the U.S. today, this is a fantastic analogy.
True to religious origin, the Clergy lies to the commoners in this futuristic city and say there is no vampire menace. They tell their citizens that the vampires were thinned from their colonies and banished to reservations, a good analogy to how Native Americans were treated, if you ask me.
Obviously this means that the danger is long gone.
You got it; the vampires are in fact not secure in their isolation. In the first 5 minutes, fifty or so of the creatures break free of one of the smaller reservations. They raid a station where the humans Owen Pace, played by True Blood's Stephen Moyer, his wife Shannon, and his 18-year-old daughter Lucy live.
Lucy is taken by the creatures.
Word gets back to Priest (The Da Vinci Code's Paul Bettany) via the town Sheriff Hick (Cam Gigandet), that his niece has been kidnapped. Priest requests to the Clergy of the Church to follow and eliminate the threat as well as recover his niece, but they shoot down his plea.
In order to save the life of his niece--and that of the millions living in the city--Priest must go against his beliefs, questioning who he is and what he stands for, and disobey Church Law.
"To go against the church is to go against God?"
Priest is willing to face the consequences.
While the acting, the graphics, and the plot are all wonderfully done in this film, it fails the Bechtel Test.
It is the fact that there are literally 3 women in the entire thing that are not among the faceless many of the downtrodden citizens. But, these women never interact. One of these women dies, one is a damsel in distress shown sparingly, and the last woman is the token strong female of the man-run group. Besides being cliche, it is tiring. Then again, in a series where a religion of lies rules, what else is to be expected but that they believe women are second class?
Is this lack of womanhood part of the original series or just the poorly thought out direction of the movie makers? If you've read the series and know, please tell me in the comments!
A Must See.
Filled with unique characters, a type of vampire new to Hollywood, and the token strong female, Priest's plot twists, action-packed scenes, and the most horrifying vampires around will keep you on the edge of your seat. Put this movie on your Must See List. It was well-executed and simply bad ass.
Because I'm interested!
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Priest Official Trailer: Prepare to be on the edge of your seat
© 2011 Jennifer Kessner
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