Evil vampires. Cliche. Yawn. I'm kind of interested in good vampires. Like I'm interested in good aliens. Why are these creatures always bad? That gets so tired.
Frankly, the vampires reminded me of the aliens from Doom, Karl Urban's
Meet Priest. One of apparently several men and women taken from their homes as youths, or in his case, a little older, by the Church with a gift for fighting evil. In the war that followed Priest training, vamps were vanquished and sent to live on reservations. The Priests and Priestesses were disbanded because the Church feared their power. They became pariahs.
Priest, the character not the title, lives with the vivid memories of losing one of the Priests in a hive. He tries to console his fears via confessional, but the Monsignor tells him to remember his vows and not to go against the Church. He's clearly unhappy with this advice. The local sheriff (who is a hottie, but I'm not sure how he got his job because he seems a little young), Hicks, sneaks up on Priest and informs him that the outpost where Priest's brother, sister-in-law and niece live, has been attacked.
At first, Priest does nothing because he's been warned that breaking the Church's rules will cause him to be excommunicated. But, to his credit, he flips the proverbial and metaphorical bird to the Church and sets off to get to the outpost. His brother is still dying, but his sister-in-law is already dead and the girl is taken. When hottie brother makes a deathbed wish for Priest to kill the vamps, he teams up with Hicks to find Lucy. This, of course, ticks the Church off and they send other Priests, including Priestess, out to find the warrior and bring him back so they can undoubtedly make an example out of him.
Priestess splits from the other Priests and finds Priest. (Confused yet?) She doesn't want to kill him because she harbors unrequited love for him although he was in love with... dum-dum-dum, his brother's wife and Lucy is really his daughter. She teams up with the unlikely pair when they discover the vamp hive is back in business, yet strangely free of night-loving blood-suckers.
This would be a lot of slashing and killing of creatures that seem only to kill for the joy of killing and feasting, except for one other creature--Black Hat. (I probably could edit that sentence to take out some of the killing and creatures, but I want to impress upon you the amount of killing going on and how inhuman the vamps are.) Black Hat, is--you guessed it--the Priest who fell behind. He hearts him some revenge and he will have his revenge served up with some nice bloody Priest and a scoop of Lucy flesh. Black Hat is the first human vampire.
The vamps have been breeding and they are seriously hungry. On a train bound for the Cities where the Church harbors the human snacks, the vamps plan to win the war once and for all. Hicks and Priest infiltrate the train while Priestess rushes ahead to blow up the tracks (nice move!) Priest gets his butt handed to him when he refuses to become another human vampire. There's a glorious black moment when it looks like Priest is about to cark it, Hicks is thrown from the train and Priestess will not be able to blow up the tracks. There's the end where it looks like there might be a sequel (fingers crossed). But I won't give it away.
So after that long recap, why do I heart this movie?
#1) Unrequited love.
The line from Priestess: "When I heard about Shannon, I prayed for her salvation. And then I prayed for mine." Although sworn to celibacy due to her status as a warrior priestess, she carried a torch for Priest for years. He had this kick-butt dagger that he gave her and she kept it all that time. I could definitely go in for a little more back story on those two.
This should be obvious. It was chock full of hotties. Karl Urban, while evil (and still not that great of an actor) is hot (plenty of guys in hats and dusters get my vote. Not all of them, but a lot of them). Cam Gigandet, vaguely Eric Close/Paul Walker-esque--hot. Paul Bettany as a tortured, sad and regretful Priest, hot.
#3) Stick to your guns, know it in your gut belief.
The theme of this movie was sacrifice. What the characters would do to save the day. Granted, all Hicks was thinking about was saving his purty little gal, but Priest sacrificed a life he would have preferred to kill vampires. Priestess knew Priest was in love with Shannon and had a daughter with her, but she loved him so much, she refused her orders to kill and/or bring him back to the Cities all while knowing she couldn't have him. The Church brainwashed the city people into believing they would be safe as long as they gave up sin and fun. Priest's brother Owen made his family live on the outskirts of the Cities and sacrifice their safety so he could try to plant crops. Above all, is Priest stepping away from the Church to save his what's left of his family, consequences be damned.
#4) Good vs. Evil
If you really want to give the good guys a run for their money, give them an enemy who can't be defeated. Take one of the good guys and take away his soul. Perfect!