Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

Day Watch 2006

Dnevnoy dozor

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

The second instalment of Timur Bekmambetov's hot-blooded, hyperkinetic vampire trilogy set in decaying post-communist Russia feels beefier, flashier and twice as hallucinogenic.

Russia In Chagatai and Russian with English subtitles
132 minutes 35mm


Sergei Lukyanenko
Aleksandr Talal
Timur Bekmambetov. Based on the novel by Vladimir Vasiliev


Sergei Trofimov


Dmitri Kiselyov


Yuri Poteyenko


Konstantin Khabensky
Maria Poroshina
Vladimir Menshov
Galina Tyunina
Viktor Verzhbitsky


Berlin 2007


The second instalment of Timur Bekmambetov’s hot-blooded Russian vampire trilogy will need no introduction to fans of its equally hallucinogenic predecessor Night Watch, which became a cult classic the moment it hit movie screens. Bursting with hyperkinetic wizardry and set in a decaying, post-communist Russia, both films make other supernatural genre contenders look like they are just not trying hard enough. Reuniting original cast and crew, ‘Day’ follows ‘Night’ where the latter left off, with a suitably complex plot involving Light Other Anton (Konstantin Khabensky) and his sidekick Svetlana (Maria Poroshina), who may or may not be the greatest Light Other the world has ever seen. They both work for Night Watch, a quasi-police organisation charged with keeping an eye on the always-Machiavellian movements of the Dark Others (a motley tribe of blood sucking vampires, shape-shifters, witches and warlocks) who operate a similarly vigilant Day Watch. In this episode, whoever gets hold of the Chalk of Destiny – which Anton used to devastating but unwitting effect in Night Watch – will be able to literally rewrite history. The sequel feels beefier, flashier and more sure of its grungy aesthetic (no doubt in part due to Fox’s acquisition of the trilogy) without losing the trademark Russian quirks and interactive subtitles that made the original so unique and appealing. And there is plenty here to excite non-aficionados of the vampire genre: body-swapping, sizzling hot romance, an emotionally charged father–son relationship and the most dazzling extended party scene since Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. — Bianca Zander