Over time, Marvel and DC have almost created a duopoly when it comes to superhero movies. This has led to two distinct, yet somewhat mainstream styles and tones for the genre. However, movies like ‘Priest’ that do not belong to either of the two factions end up providing viewers with a fresh experience. The 2011 movie can also be grouped under fantasy/speculative fiction and vampire fiction.
The film is based on a Korean comic of the same name and is set in an alternate universe. ‘Priest’ is directed by Scott Stewart and stars Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, and Maggie Q. The film received praise for its visual style, direction, and a few action sequences.
Priest Plot Summary:
‘Priest’ is set in an alternate universe where humans and vampires have been at war for centuries. As a result, humans started to live in walled cities, under the rule of The Church, a theocratic organization. Skilled warriors called Priests were trained by the Church to combat vampires, and they helped reduce the vampire threat almost completely. However, with the humans being relatively safer, the Priests were no longer needed and began to be marginalized. The Church reminded the people that the vampire threat had been eradicated completely and exercised power in a totalitarian manner.
However, a few people lived in outlying towns, away from the Church’s control. In one of these towns, an eighteen-year-old girl named Lucy gets kidnapped by a horde of vampires who kill her family. The town’s sheriff, Hicks, seeks the help of a Priest (who is referred to as “Priest” throughout the film) to rescue Lucy. Lucy’s father had been Priest’s brother.
Priest defies the Church’s orders to go and rescue Lucy. The Church sends three other Priests and a Priestess to bring back the Priest, dead or alive. It is later revealed that Lucy is actually the Priest’s daughter that he had to give up. In his pursuit of Lucy, Hicks and he reaches the Sola Mira hive where Priest and a few of his companions had lost a man, Black Hat to vampires. Here, they meet the Priestess who informs the Priest that other Priests sent to capture him have gone to another place.
The Priest, Priestess, and Hicks discover that the vampires have caused rampage in a city called Jericho. The leader is Black Hat, who has been converted to a “human vampire” and has killed the three other Priests. He kidnapped Lucy to draw the Priests out of the main city. He is now aboard a train full of vampires that is headed to destroy the main city.
After an action-packed sequence, the three manage to kill Black Hat, rescue Lucy, and blow up the train before it reaches the main city. The Priest goes to the city council with the head of a vampire to prove that the vampire threat is real. Once again, he defies the order of the Church leader and leaves the city because he thinks that the Queen of vampires is planning another attack. In the end, the Priest and Priestess are shown riding off in separate directions to stop the Queen. The Priestess tells the Priest that the other Priests have been notified.
Priest Ending Explained:
The ending of ‘Priest’ is more of a set-up for a possible sequel. To begin with, it ought to be noted that the Queen, who is only shown in one scene (faintly), was depicted to be living in the Sola Mira hive when the Priest and others had lost Black Hat. Moreover, she is depicted to have powers of converting humans to “human vampires,” a deadly crossbreed that can kill Priests too. Hence, the Queen must be several times more powerful.
However, when Priest and Hicks go to the Sola Mira hive, it is largely empty. The Queen has left. Hence, it is reasonable to assume that she has already started working on her plan. The Sola Mira hive did have a tunnel using which the vampire escaped to the town of Jericho. Perhaps, a part of the army headed to Jericho with Black Hat, while others left with the Queen elsewhere.
Luckily, the ending reassures viewers that there are other Priests. The Priestess has already notified them, and now all of them have gone in different directions to find the Queen. They all agree to meet at a certain Rendezvous Point.
Many viewers must have wondered what this ending signifies, though. Well, the ending reinstates the Priests’ honor. They have sworn to protect mankind as their duty. They would continue to do so even if they aren’t given any laurels. This has become somewhat of a cliche in superhero fiction: the superhero who does not get any recognition but continues to protect the people. After all, morally good work loses out on its morality if it is performed with the expectation of reward. Throughout the movie, the Priests are shown to be marginalized. Kids are not allowed to speak to them by their parents. They have been separated from each other despite their sacrifices with nobody to talk to. However, they still choose to serve humanity. They still chose to take the risk of defying the Church to take care of the imminent threat.
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