It plays like a Twilight Zone episode, but it's 1h27min long, so, about
one hour longer than it should be. The first actual action only happens
after half an hour.
If you don't want to watch it, keep reading, otherwise, skip and go
watch it. Yes, -= SPOILER ALERT =-, I'm going to spill out all the
story (it's kind of necessary for my after comments to make sense).
The story is about a Christian priest, married, who starts receiving a
commandment from whom he believes to be his god, every time he closes
his eyes: to kill his daughter, akin to biblical Abraham (so is said in
the film), otherwise, the world will be taken by darkness and horror.
The priest believes it's a test of his faith in his god, while
everybody else believes he is just going crazy, like another member of
his family (people got killed because of that). As the film moves
(slowly) forward, someone suggests it's not his god talking to him, but
Lucifer, so he gets an exorcism done, which fails, but he doesn't tell
anybody until the end of the film (surprise!) Just before that, we see
a dream (supposedly his) commanding him to kill his "flesh and blood",
which he interprets literally, killing himself, instead of his
daughter. The last scene shows his wife sitting outside, at night,
relieved that it's all over, when, suddenly, the city lights below
start going off and everything gets dark.
The story was not original (recalled me of 1988's "The Seventh Sign",
about sacrifices, and "Prince of Darkness", about prophetic dreams),
but the film was just too long with too few happening on screen to be
The director also doesn't seem to trust in tripods or steadicams, so
the images are usually "shaky", like in the "Battlestar Galactica"
television series remake, also with too close close-ups. It's
pretentious, annoying and very distracting, something that didn't
happen in "Absentia" (2011), for example, in which the camera style
worked very well to add emotion to the scenes and the storytelling.
Boredom makes it fail as a thriller, the lack of tension makes it fail
as an horror, the shaky camera and thin story makes it fail as
entertainment and the supernatural ending just lifted the meter a bit,
but not enough to save it. In the end, the question is not answered, if
it was really a vengeful god or Lucifer messing around with the
priest's head and the world (or if it was just a power shortage in the
city, how dumb would that be?)