By Cory Goodman
I was intrigued by this exactly a year ago, as I knew it was another vampire-based story and so wanted to see if it would be anything to rave about. However, after the read back then, I was distracted from completing the usual report and I guess have been distracted ever since.
Going in the first time, I was dubious and equally open-minded as to whether this would offer up anything new and enjoyable. Based on a graphic novel, and attempting to do what many fail to achieve. Did this deliver? The verdict is: it does, if you like that sort of thing.
The story centres on a mysterious Man: head shaven, tattooed face bearing a black cross, well built, solid resolve, a formidable presence, as he saves a young girl from the clutches of a menace. A man, who we learn in the Prologue is a Priest: an old warrior trained in vampire combat and whose race helped to turn the tide of the war for humans. However, today vampires are an endangered species and protected by law, and the Priests have denounced their ways and integrated back into society. That is until he learns of a rare vampire attack on the outskirts of the city, and as it's a matter personal to him, intends to resolve despite the church's strict instructions not to do so.
The screenplay was an enjoyable read, full of action, suspense, mild humour, surprises and heart. It featured entertaining characters who were nicely written, well developed, and memorable. Priest, is a fascinating character who is torn between the ways he knows and has believed in, with doing what is right and what his heart tells him. His sidekick, Hicks, the local sheriff, is a humorous and ballsy man, and offers adequate support and conflict in their unfolding mission. The screenplay was visually compelling from the outset and like its action, conveyed in simple, lush descriptive detail. Despite a few telling not showing moments and heavy camera descriptions, it read well and with an enjoyable pace. It's a world full of ambiance and suspense that should transfer well on to the screen, and as a whole, into an exciting, damn cool and engrossing experience.
The story naturally centres around faith but not essentially in being bound to an ideal and a God. But a faith in yourself and doing what is right, in spite of what you have previously believed and how you are supposed to conform. It's about courage on the road to justice, and fighting against a cunning evil that threatens to engulf the world. If God was created in the image of man, then we need to step out from underneath His shadow.
I'm interested to see how well they interpret this for the screen, and whether it will be a solid, unique, real world based, powerhouse of an effort, or one that heavily favours CGI with cliched camerawork, poorly rendered villains and the uninspiring rock anthems placed over the action. However, in spite of the odds, I do have faith.
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