Sunday 22 April 2018

Movies: Priest **

(15A, general release)

Paul Whitington

English actor Paul Bettany is mainly known for his commanding turns in solid period dramas such as Creation and The Young Victoria, but since playing the ghoulish baddie in The Da Vinci Code in 2006 he has developed a lucrative sideline in horror films.

In 2009, he teamed up with director Scott Stewart to make the bizarre biblical horror Legion, and the pair are back with this dark fantasy based on a Korean comic and set in an alternate world where humankind and vampires have been at war for centuries.

Bettany plays one of a select band of warrior priests who once defended mankind from extinction in a battle to the death with the vampires.

That war is officially over, and the vampires have been corralled on reservations, but when Bettany's niece Lucy is taken by a band of bloodsuckers, he must defy the express orders of the church as he sets out to save her.

In telling this jolly tale, Stewart references everything from Blade Runner to The Searchers.

But he does so with little grace, and for the most part Priest is a dimly lit and Cgi-laden bore with all the wit and sophistication of a shoot-em-up video game.

Day & Night

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment