The Gathering

An American drifter in England unwittingly steps out before a moving car. Knocked to the road she is carted to the local hospital and watched over by the mother who had accidentally run her down. Showing a surprising lack of injuries aside from a slight case of amnesia, Marion (Kerry Fox) invites Cassie (Christina Ricci) to stay with her family for a few days until her memory returns. Marion’s husband Simon (Stephen Dillane) has just returned from studying a recently uncovered church. Filled with a bas relief of Christ on the cross as well as a group of people watching the crucifixion, the discovered church opens a host of speculation and worry from the Catholic Church. Simon begins to slowly uncover the mysteries of the buried church and as his mysteries begin to come to light Cassie begins to have visions of violence and death to those around her.

Mislabeled as a horror film in reality The Gathering comes across as more of a suspense thriller in the end. That said it’s a top notch suspense thriller at that. With a slowly unfolding plot mystery centered on the crucifixion of Christ and those that came to watch, we tread into deep and heady waters. My one gripe with this one is that it is so steeped in Christian and bible history; it might take some work for those unfamiliar with the subject matter to get through. Once you do get through it however we have ourselves a great film with Shyamalan level twists and surprises. I have my own gauge for the quality of a movie that some may not agree with, but it works for me. When I hit the power button on the player after a movie is finished and proceed to spend the next hour talking, theorizing, and researching on the internet? That’s a sign of a good story that makes one think, and that is exactly what we get from The Gathering.

The plot is the high point of The Gathering and it is well crafted. Twists and turns throughout, we catch snippets of story as we plod along bringing the true meaning of the story to light. Helping to bring this one together is the performance from Christina Ricci in a more mature roll than what she is generally known for. Enthusiastic for her role she brings in a solid portrayal of a confused traveler faced with odd happenings and coming to grips with her nightly visions. The actors surrounding her all turn in great performances as well rounding out the film with a solid cast.

On the technical side, this DVD is completely average. With passable transfer and sound there are no problems there. With no extra features to speak of, the disk is as bare bones as they can get. Seeing as you’re buying the DVD for a great thought provoking flick however, that’s not really a problem.

Having never heard of The Gathering prior to popping the disk into the player, I was totally unprepared for what to expect. Interesting plot summary and Christina Ricci gracing the cover I figured what the heck, can’t be all bad. To my surprise what I received was a deep movie that turned out to be a great investment of my time. For those concerned with this turning out to be a preachy movie seeing as its plot revolves around the crucifixion of Christ, fear not. It’s not that kind of movie. Highly recommended on all accounts. Just be sure to wear your thinking cap!

4 heavenly hosts out of 5

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