Friday, October 24, 2008

The Gathering -- reviewer Lee Pletzers

The Gathering
©2002 Granada Films & Capital Films
101 minutes plus bonuses
Starring: Christina Ricci .... Cassie Grant, Ioan Gruffudd .... Dan Blakeley, Stephen Dillane .... Simon Kirkman, Kerry Fox .... Marion Kirkman, Simon Russell Beale .... Luke Fraser, Robert Hardy .... The Bishop, Harry Forrester .... Michael Kirkman and Jessica Mann .... Emma Kirkman
Director: Brian Gilbert.
Distributed by: Dimension Films

4 out of 5 stars.
Reviewed by Lee Pletzers.

Two kids go up a mountain for some…fun, when all of a sudden the boy vanishes. This freaks the girl out and suddenly she falls from a crack in the ground and comes to in a buried church. She finds her boyfriend speared on a broken statue. Surrounding her are faces chiseled into the walls, all facing a crucifix with the effigy of Christ nailed on it. And so starts a ripping good movie.

We meet Cassie Grant (Christina Ricci) when she is hit by a car driven by Marian (Kerry Fox). Cassie has short-term memory loss from the accident, and feeling sorry for the girl, Marian takes her home.

Cassie starts having visions, horrible visions.

Marian’s husband Simon is hired by the Church of England to investigate the buried church and date everything. At the same time a local priest does his own digging. The images on the wall of the buried church (buried on purpose around the time of the Black Death by soil brought to England for this exact purpose) resemble with 100% accuracy the painted images of people though-out the ages all surrounding, watching, disastrous times in human history. They are called the watchers, and many scholars have documented (and been confused by) their existence.

“They came only to see, from the East and the West and from the praying. They came only to see, not in holy reverence to the Lord, but in lust.”

The movie is about watchers, people who stare at disasters only so they could see it. When a group ‘watched’ the crucifixion, they were cursed to wander all time…watching. They have learned they can interfere with events to ensure they happen. Kassey takes it upon herself (with the visions) to stop the coming event.

As the director says: This is a British horror movie that deals with ancient Roman, Celtic and British elements.

It is also a very well thought out movie that leaves zero holes, and has an excellent sub plot that joins the main perfectly bringing the entire movie into focus. Can you tell I’m trying not to give anything away. Watch this movie, enjoy this movie.

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