Fox Searchlight somewhat helpfully included a defective DVD of the first movie with their schwag bag for Day Watch (along with small size t-shirts and an astronaut sew-on patch for Sunshine). Skippy or not, Night Watch was difficult to sit through. I expected more of Timur Bekmambetov’s flashy Matrix-in-Moscow stylings, but this first movie of the trilogy is a lot darker and duller than its sequel. Vampires, swirling clouds of crows, ancient battles, youngsters who face fateful choices and other stock fantasy elements meet in a Russian setting, but Night Watch has a first-act feel to: things are set up but nothing generates much heat. Day Watch is a significantly more exciting movie, but I doubt it would have made any more sense if I’d seen them in order.

Nochnoy dozor. Timur Bekmambetov, 2004. *