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Night Watch - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

A RUSSIAN film that cost under $4 million to make has been described by Empire magazine as 'the most vital genre flick since The Matrix' in its round-up of the Summer's must-see movies.

Night Watch is a vampire flick directed by Timur Bekmambetov which stars Konstantin Khabensky, Mariya Poroshina and Vladimir Menshov.

It's due for a UK release on June 3 and has already gone down a storm in Russian cinemas, where its breathtaking perspective on the genre is already attracting the attention of Hollywood (who look primed for a remake).

The plot centres around the breaking of a centuries-old truce between the forces of good and evil which prompts supernatueral beings to slug it out on the streets of modern-day Moscow.

The film is the first part of a trilogy (is anyone thinking Matrix or Blade?) and has already prompted a sequel, Chalk of Fate, which is currently filming.


US distributor, Fox Searchlight, which champions a lot of independent movies and which has distribution rights, is then hoping to shoot the third and final part in English.

The supernatural forces in question are, according to Empire, The Others (vampires), some of which are good (The Night Watch) and some of whom are bad (The Day Watch).

Their battle is choreographed in spectacular fashion, thereby putting a lot of run-of-the-mill Hollywood fodder to shame.

Needless to say, the Russians are tremendously proud, particularly given the buzz surrounding it.

Co-screenwriter, Sergei Lukyanenko, who wrote the best-selling fantasy novels behind the movie, told Empire that he had conceived a notion of 'twilight as a battlefield for magicians living around us' who fight their battle without disturbing human beings.

The film took a record-breaking domestic $15 million cume in Russian cinemas and was described by Variety as a 'Russian-made pic that displays pro technique and visual imagination on a par with Hollywood frighteners, but with a distinctive Slavic accent'.

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