The Gathering Movie Review

I'm always fascinated by those movies that get shot, cut, and finished... then sit "in the can" for years and years, unreleased. Why not just throw them to the theater world and see what happens?

Well, spend a few quality minutes with The Gathering and you'll see, in short order, just how bad one of these canned atrocities can be. Despite starring Christina Ricci, this genre pic is dead from its very first frames, wholly unwatchable at any point during its running time.

The story is so obtuse it almost defies explanation. An impossibly cute drifter named Cassie (Christina Ricci) is summarily run over by a harried woman (Kerry Fox, totally wasted here)... but Cassie is miraculously unharmed. Eventually this mystery ties into another: That of a cave beneath the quiet English town this all occurs in, containing a sculpture that may date back to the Crucifixion. When Cassie learns the local gun-nut/lunatic is planning a murder spree, she'll be told she's powerless to stop it, though the revelation as to why this is, which arrives one hour into the picture, will remain a secret just in case you foolishly decide to rent the DVD.

The script is completely hackneyed, filled with stilted dialogue and trite plotting. (It's so odd: Director Brian Gilbert has made some interesting British historical dramas in the past.) Even Ricci does nothing with her role; she comes across as a second-rate student at an acting class at The Learning Annex, when she's capable of so much more. How she gets herself into budet horror/thriller films like this and Cursed I'd love to know... but sadly, the DVD offers no explanatory commentary track or interview with her, nor any other extras at all.

Maybe that's for the best.


The Gathering Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: R, 2002


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