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NIGHT WATCH (A Russian Horror Film.)





It's like Harry Potter with a Matrix sense of style, only for adults. Perhaps the most amazing thing about this movie is that instead of coming from some big Hollywood studio, it comes from Russia. And while it most definitely remains a Russian film, its themes and its visual style are truly international.


Night Watch is the highest grossing film in Russian history, beating even The Lord of the Rings. While it would take a miracle for that to happen here in the States, if it finds the right audience, at the very least it should develop a cult following.


Visually, the movie is stunning. Without the benefit of a big budget special effects house like ILM, it still manages to create a highly stylized atmosphere with some great special effects. It's almost a certainty that you've never seen Moscow look like this. Gone is the stereotypical dreary, rainy day, grey look, replaced by a colorful world of night and shadow. And along with the new look comes a new sound in the form of a rocking soundtrack.









In contemporary Moscow, the other-world battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness unfolds. For centuries, the undercover members of the Night Watch have policed the world's Dark Ones - the vampires, witches, shape-shifters and sorcerers that wage treachery in the night - while the Dark Ones have a Day Watch that in turn polices the forces of Light. The fate of humanity rests on this delicate balance between good and evil, but an ancient prophecy predicts that a powerful 'Other' will rise up and be tempted by one of the sides, plunging the world into a renewed war between Dark and Light.


Review by Andrew L. Urban:

Nothing less than apocalyptic forces drive the fantasy books that have spawned this film, the first of a trilogy coming our way from Russia's energetic and bravado filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov. But the surprise is that the film is set in a contemporary Moscow, and the characters - even the Others - are ruggedly, defiantly human, often unshaven and never strictly beautiful.


The filmmaking is highly seductive, from the stylish visual flourishes right down to the creative graphic treatment of the subtitles. Despite a slightly confusing story line, the cumulative effect of the plot, and the clear top and tail, provide enough involvement to engage and entertain us.


While the overall achievement is original, the film does borrow from others, but that's more or less impossible to avoid these days. What does stand out, though, is the marriage of Russian national cinema and Hollywood commercial filmmaking; the latter invested in extra SFX after Russian production was completed, when Fox acquired distribution rights.


The director's experience as a hot tv commercials and music video producer shows in his use of images, symbolism and pace; but there is also a solid anchor of gravitas from the source material, including themes of right and wrong within the conflicted characters who reside on either side of the moral divide.



Edited by MusicManiac
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  • 1 year later...

I have this film on DVD, it is amazing, i meant to review it earlier, but it totally blew me away.

As MMs cut and paste review says its the highest grossing russian made film ever! It made more in russia than any other film,and it appears to have been picked up for international distribution.


Its a trilogy, Nightwatch is the first installment, Daywatch, the second installment is due to hit the screens in Europe this year, personally i can't wait!

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Day Watch the film isn't out, but the book is! In fact, the entire trilogy is available in book form. See?. The second is being released in Russia first I think... any idea on an American release? Fox Searchlight has the rights to the first one, maybe they have for the trilogy as well? I can't wait to see it

Edited by simpnum1
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  • 2 months later...

From their website i think its 1st of June for you lucky yanks! We've to wait til October!




The film is actually based on the book The Night Watch, not the seperate novels apparently, here's what wiki says!


Day Watch (Russian: Дневно́й дозо́р, Dnevnoi Dozor), a Russian fantasy action blockbuster marketed as "the first film of the year", opened in theatres across Russia on January 1, 2006 and will open in the U.S. on June 1, 2007. It is a sequel to the 2004 film Night Watch, featuring the same cast. It is based on the second and the third part of Sergey Lukyanenko's novel The Night Watch rather than its follow-up novel Day Watch. The film's budget was USD$4.2 million and was expected to gross $40 million in Russia alone.
Edited by soldier of fortune
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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, Cj and I re-downloaded Night Watch, this time in English Dub since the first copy we had watched just had bad subs. and while I'm a fan of subs, the dub was all we could find at the moment and we wanted to re-watch it before we see Day Watch. This time around it made A LOT MORE SENSE. I really liked the movie this time around and got the point, I guess.


Anyhow... has anyone seen Day Watch yet?? Thanks to Lycaon (thanks you a million times over, again!!), Cj and I are going to see this tonight! He gave us free passes/tickets to a screening in Dallas tonight at 8pm. The trailer looks really good, and I'll try to come back tonight or tomorrow with some sort of a coherent review, heh

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