THE IMPORTANT CINEMA CLUB’S SUPER SCARY MOVIE CHALLENGE 7: Night Watch (2004)

7. An Action Film That’s Secretly A Horror FIlm.

Russian-Kazakh Timur Bekmambetov started as a production designer before making Peshavar Waltz and a remake of The Arena for Roger Corman. He may be best-known in the U.S. for his movies WantedAbraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and his Screenlife movies UnfriendedSearching and Profile. He’s also the owner of Walt Disney’s Los Angeles mansion.

For geeks like me, well, he’s known for this movie, a Russian horror superhero action movie based on the 1998 novel The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. The concept — the armies of light and dark ended a battle when the two leaders, Geser and Zavulon, called a truce and each side commissioned a quasi-police force to ensure it was kept with the Light called the Night Watch and the Dark the Day Watch — gets out of the way quickly so Bekmambetov can do what he loves: absolutely berserk action that goes way too far in the best of ways.

Anton Gorodetsky (Konstantin Khabensky) is a member of the Night Watch. He got there when he was caught paying a witch to cast a spell to bring back his wife at the cost of her unborn child which was not his. He was able to see the Watch members who came to stop this and is one of the Others and he must stop a prophecy that claims that the world will soon end when the Light and the Dark go to war for the final time.

There are six books in the series, but after the sequel Day Watch, Bekmambetov decided to not finish the planned trilogy. Lukyanenko’s books are very anti-Ukrainian and none of that is in the movie. This was controversial as an underground nonconformist intellectual movement named Padonki said that it was too Hollywood and had no ideas. They called it Night Shame.

What is a shame is that this movie was a big deal in 2004 and no one talks about it today. I mean, it has possessed baby dolls used as soldiers! Cars flip all over the place! Watch it!

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