01 December 2014

THE GATHERING (2003)

THE GATHERING

German Titles:
The Gathering - Blicke des Bösen / The Gathering - Ich sehe das, was du nicht siehst

UK, 2003
Director: Brian Gilbert

7/10






Between the early 80s and the late 90s, British filmmaker Brian Gilbert was hopping between genres like other people changing their underpants, from made-for-TV drama ("Sharma and Beyond"), rom-com ("The Frog Prince") and fantasy comedy ("Vice Versa") in the 80s, to bestseller adaptation ("Not Without My Daughter"), stage play adaptation ("Tom & Viv") and biography ("Wilde") in the 90s. His last full feature was the 2003-released "The Gathering", a tense and well-made horror/mystery-thriller that unfortunately didn't do well at the European box office. Even worse: in America, it was simply dumped to DVD...
4 years later in 2007! *sigh*



Based on a screenplay by Anthony Horowitz ("Foyle's War"),
Gilbert tells the story of Simon Kirkman, an art historian who tries to examine a recently discovered church that was "buried" in the ground and shows a mysterious, very unusual portrayal of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, as well as of Cassie Grant, a young girl who drifts through a nearby village, gets hit by the art historian's wife's car and loses her memory. The Kirkmans invite her to stay at their huge mansion to recover from her trauma. There, she suddenly starts to experience weird premonitions and ghastly visions which are somehow related to the buried church...

Among religion-themed horror films, "The Gathering" is an extremely unique movie that touches all kinds of difficult topics like child abuse, falsification of history, or morbid curiosity. Parts of the movie reminded me of classics like "The Omen" or "The Wicker Man", but overall it's definitely something that I haven't seen before. It could have been a tad more fast-paced and the ending is a bit sappy, but everything else is just terrific. Lots of suspense, a few well-used and well-made jump scares, as well as lots of impressively haunting atmosphere, thanks to many well-used, creepy-looking settings in and around Gloucestershire, Kent and Somerset, all fabulously filmed by
Martin Fuhrer ("Lord of The Flies", "Omen IV").



Christina Ricci is solid as always, though her performance isn't as great as the ones by Peter McNamara as grumpy motherfucker and Robert Hardy as highly unsettled Bishop. There's some decent gore, a few great deaths (incl. a Final-Destination-like road kill), many spooky images of slightly eerie-looking people standing around and a few really powerful scenes (opening, running through the cornfields, hiding in a creepy old barn...). A splendid movie, highly recommended to fans of subtle European horror.

Wiki ~ Imdb

3 comments:

  1. I have a funny feeling I've seen this...but I'm not sure. Perhaps it wasn't paced fast enough to keep my attention and I channel surfed a bit... Thanks for the review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This does sound interesting - adding to the To Watch list!

    ReplyDelete

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