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Nochnoy dozor
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Synopsis for
Night Watch (2004) More at IMDbPro »Nochnoy dozor (original title)

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THE SETTING: In the world that is modern Moscow, there exists a parallel realm known as the Gloom (kind of like the Astral Plane). Certain humans with special powers can pass in and out of the Gloom. They are known as the Others and have co-existed with humans for as long as humanity has existed. The Others are soldiers in the Eternal War, the struggle between dark and light. Light Others protect mankind from Dark Others, most of whom are vampires. Light Others and Dark Others currently live within a Truce.

THE LEGENDS: A Legend says that there existed in ancient Byzantium, a Virgin who became cursed. Wherever she went, misfortune would follow. The force of the curse opened a vortex of damnation around her, and with it, the first forces of Darkness were born into the world. Warriors of Light rose up to fight them, and the great battle between Light and Dark began. Legend tells of the day thousands of years ago when the two armies met on the bridge. Geser, Lord of the Light, and Zavulon, General of the Darkness, faced each other, and neither one would give way. Eventually, Lord Geser realized that the armies were equally matched, and he knew that, unless the fighting stopped, every last soul would perish, so he stopped the battle and forged a truce. These things were decreed. No Other could be forced to Good or Evil without choosing freely, and once the choice is made, it is binding. The soldiers of the Light would be called Night Watch, making sure that Dark Others obeyed the truce, and the soldiers of Darkness would be called Day Watch, to do the same. Another group, composed of the most powerful individuals of both Watches, would be known as the Inquisition. It would be their duty to watch over both Watches, and so the balance would be kept for centuries to come. But one day, an Other would come, more powerful than any before him. Like all Others, he would have to choose between Light and Dark. If this Great Other takes the side of Light, Light will triumph. But the Seers say he will choose Darkness. Legend also says that the Final Battle between good and evil will be heralded by the reappearance of the Virgin.

MOSCOW, Spring 1992: Anton Gorodetsky's [Konstantin Khabenskiy] wife Irina Petrova [Mariya Mironova] has left him for another man, so Anton consults the Dark Witch Darya Leonidova [Rimma Markova] about getting her back. "No problem", says Darya, except that she is pregnant with the other man's child, which will involve killing an innocent. Anton must first agree to bear the responsibility himself for such a grave sin. Anton agrees, so Darya mixes a bit of his blood with some vodka and lemonade and begins the spell that will kill the unborn baby. Just as she's about to complete the spell, however, three Nightwatch descend upon her and prevent it. When Anton asks who these people are, the Nightwatch patrollers are amazed that Anton can see them, since they are working from the Gloom, into which no one but an Other can see. This is how Anton finds out that he is an Other. He is a Seer, able to enter the Gloom and to see glimpses of the future.

MOSCOW, Summer 2004: Twelve-year old Yegor [Dmitriy Martynov] is swimming at a local public swimming pool when his nose starts to bleed and he receives a psychic call that he cannot resist. Meanwhile, Anton, who has become an agent with the Nightwatch, receives a message from headquarters that a Dark Other has called Yegor, meaning that Yegor is being lured by a vampire. Anton must locate Yegor and intercept. The Nightwatch has traced Yegor to the Orange Line (Metro), but then they lost him. Although Anton is an agent of the Light, he lives on the borderline between Light and Dark, sleeping during the day and needing to drink blood in order to "feel" Calls. To find Yegor, Anton is in need of some "red stuff," so he asks his law-abiding vampire neighbor Kostya [Aleksey Chadov] to take him to his father's abbatoir where he can get some pig's blood.

The blood makes Anton feel drunk, which causes him to stumble around and attract unwanted attention as he looks for Yegor in the Metro, but he does manage to locate Yegor. At one point, Anton loses sight of Yegor, so he turns on his ultraviolet flashlight and notices a young blond woman whose hair is flying around her as though she is standing in a vortex. (NOTE: The vortex is also pictured as teeming with crows. The Russian words for "crow" and "vortex" are almost identical.) This confuses Anton, but he again catches sight of Yegor and goes back to following him to an old barbershop where the Dark Callers -- two vampires, Andrei [Ilya Lagutenko] and Larissa [Anna Dubrovskaya] -- are waiting to drink the boy's blood (Andrei has been given license by the Nightwatch to turn Larissa, and this is her first drink). Anton attempts to stop them from killing the innocent boy, while three Nightwatch agents (the same Nightwatch agents that stopped Darya's spell 12 years earlier) Ilya, a.k.a: Bear [Aleksandr Samoylenko], Lena, aka: Tiger Cub [Anna Slyu], and Simeon [Aleksey Maklakov] race to his aid in Simeon's truck through the busy Moscow streets. They arrive just as Andrei is about to split Anton open with a large piece of broken mirror. They hit Andrei with the UV headlights from their truck and he explodes. Anton is gravely injured, so they take him to Gesser [Vladimir Menshov], who is actually Lord Geser, living and working undercover as the head of the Gorsvet Light and Power Company. Gesser tends to Anton's wounds and then mindlinks with him so that he can see the girl that Anton saw in the vortex. Gesser concludes that the girl is the Virgin and that the prophesy is coming true. The Final Battle is about to begin.

Meanwhile, Zavulon [Viktor Verzhbitskiy], the leader of the Dark Others, is enraged at the killing of Andrei and calls upon Dark Witch Alisa Donnikova [Zhanna Friske] to find Larissa, who is wandering the streets, terrified and desperately in need of blood. Alisa is told to tempt Larissa with blood and to get her to Call Yegor again. (Here we see Zavulon playing a computer game which will mirror the events at the end of the movie; this is to give the idea that everything about to happen is a game that has been preorchestrated by Zavulon and Gesser and that all the players--Anton, Larissa, Alisa, Yegor, the Virgin, etc.--are merely pawns in the game.) Once Alisa has Yegor, she is to use him to lure Anton.

Back in Gesser's office, Anton hears Yegor's Call and attempts to leave Gesser's office, but his wounds are so severe that he can barely walk. Because Anton is intent on finding Yegor even though near death himself, Gesser (whose concern is for the global happiness of mankind and who is not concerned about saving the life of one child) gives Anton a partner...Olga the Owl [Galina Tyunina]. Anton is not impressed.

Immediately thereafter, Gesser calls an emergency meeting of all Light operatives. Through some fancy computer work, they note a storm building just outside of Moscow and they identify the Virgin as Svetlana Nazarova [Mariya Poroshina], a doctor who works at a clinic and lives with her mother near the airport in Vatutinki. Lately, bad things have been happening around Svetlana. Her mother has been taken ill with kidney failure and needs a transplant. The child of one of her friends got sick after Svetlana visited them. A neighbor, whom Svetlana calls Auntie Valya, had to call an ambulance last night. Pretty strong evidence of a curse upon her. Gesser orders that they must identify everyone who has come in contact with Svetlana during the previous three days. If they can determine who cursed her, he figures, they might be able to break the curse and stop the Final Battle before it begins.

That night, Olga the Owl comes flying through Anton's window. (NOTE: Olga is a Light Mage who, because of some misdeed years ago, was ordered by the Inquisition to be imprisoned in the form of an owl. Only by atoning for her misdeed can she gain back her human form, which is why Gesser has given her this chance to partner with Anton. Gesser actually created the vortex as a way of taking Olga out of mothballs, so to speak. Olga's specialty is removing curses.) When Anton's back is turned, Olga shapeshifts from Owl to human, a very messy procedure. While Olga bathes, Anton goes across the hall to Kostya's apartment to see if he can scare up some women's clothing. Kostya gives him some of his mother's old clothes, but Kostya is obviously angry with Anton. When you kill a Dark Other, Kostya fumes, all Dark Others feel it. Kostya is also P.O.ed because the Nightwatch is able to issue licenses to Darks (as they did to Andrei so that he could turn Larissa), but the Darks are not allowed to issue licenses to the Lights. Very unfair!

Meanwhile, Yegor is watching television while his mother tries to find a babysitter for him while she goes to work. When she can find no one, she decides that Yegor is old enough to stay home by himself. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is on TV, and Yegor tries to convince his mother that he has seen real vampires, but she doesn't believe him. As she pulls away in her car, Larissa stands in front of the apartment building, looking for a way to get invited inside.

Meanwhile, the vortex of crows over Moscow is building. A crow flies into an airplane heading for the Vatutinki airport. The airplane loses a rivet which falls from the sky right over the building where Svetlana lives; the rivet drops through a ventilation shaft and lands smackdab in Svetlana's cup of Nescafe. Back at Yegor's apartment, Yegor is sharpening a stake. He hears a noise in the hall and peeks out the peephole to see Larissa standing there. Outside the building, Anton and Olga are racing to help Yegor. The elevator is not running, so they race up the seven flights of stairs to Yegor's apartment. Instead of ringing his doorbell, they decide it would be best to enter through the Gloom (in the Gloom, one can pass through physical objects.) It turns out that Yegor is an Other, too, and he can see Anton and Olga when they enter the apartment. Having had no training, however, Yegor can only remain in the Gloom for 10 seconds before it will consume him (called "freezing"), so Anton and Olga fight frantically to get him out. The Gloom begins to consume Anton, too, so Olga tells him to feed the Gloom with his blood in order to extend the time. Anton cuts his own arm, allowing the blood to flow freely. It does the trick, and the three of them are pulled from the Gloom. After they have sufficiently recovered from their trek into the Gloom, Anton and Olga explain to Yegor what it means to be an Other and the choice he'll have to make: to become either a Light Other or a Dark Other. Suddenly, Anton notices a photo of Yegor and his mother and realizes that Yegor's mother is his ex-wife Irina and that Yegor could be his son.

The storm vortex over Moscow continues to grow. Zavulon gets word that the vortex is almost open but Anton is still with Yegor. Zavulon says to hold on, and it will all come together as planned. (Once again, we see Zavulon playing his computer game.) The troubled airplane has requested emergency landing but has been denied due to loss of control systems and has been advised to keep circling the airport. The vortex made of circling crows has centered itself directly over Svetlana's apartment building. Gesser contacts Anton, tells him that he is moving Nightwatch ground zero to Svetlana's building, and orders Anton and Olga to go there immediately; he sends Nightwatch agents Bear and Tiger Cub to protect Yegor while Anton deals with Svetlana. Anton promises Yegor that he will return and will protect him from Larissa.

Back at Svetlana's apartment, Auntie Valya has just died. Svetlana is aware that bad things are happening around her for no reason and feels responsible enough to be the one to inform Valya's son about her death. As everything that is happening has been carefully orchestrated by Zavulon, Valya's death is not coincidence. Valya's son works at a power plant. When he hears about his mother's death, he is detracted from his job, the power plant blows up, and all of Moscow is plunged into darkness. When Anton arrives at ground zero, he is informed that they have not been able to find anyone who could have cursed Svetlana. Anton takes a look at her file on the computer. While on the computer, Anton looks up his own file and discovers that the Dark Witch Darya lied to him about Irina's baby being not his and that, because he was willing to kill the baby, the Nightwatch deem him able to kill, something that goes against all Light principles. He also discovers that Zavulon and Gesser are working together to break up the vortex. Gesser forces Zavulon to give to Anton a necklace of protection against Dark Others. Then Gesser orders Anton to go to Svetlana, find out who cursed her, and lift the curse. If he is unable, he is to kill Svetlana.

Anton gains access to Svetlana by telling her that he is a patient of hers and that he thinks he has an ulcer. After examining him, she concludes that he has no ulcer and begins to wonder what he really wants. She orders him to leave, but he tries to keep her talking. He tells her that she is cursed, but she thinks he's crazy. He keeps pushing until she suddenly begins to cry and reveals that she cursed herself by wishing her mother dead so that she could live a normal life, marry, and have kids. Suddenly, the curse lifts. The lights of Moscow come back on, and the troubled airplane lands safely.

But it's not over yet. In the meantime, with all of the Nightwatch's attention on Svetlana, Larissa has climbed to the roof of Yegor's building and sent out a Call to him. Yegor distracts Bear and Tiger Cub and climbs up the fire-escape to meet her. Bear and Tiger Cub pursue, but Larissa gets Yegor in her clutches. She orders Bear to bring Anton to her or she will bite Yegor. Anton is summoned. Larissa makes him toss away the necklace of protection, which he does while she pleads for her life back as a human, something that cannot happen. She bemoans how the Nightwatch gave Andrei a license to turn her because of their love for each other, and then they went and killed Andrei. Why did they let Andrei drink from her, and why won't they let her drink from Yegor?

The answer is simple: Yegor is the Great Other, although he doesn't know it. His decision, whether to choose Dark or Light, seals the fate of the world. The final scene is revealed that Zavulon has orchestrated the whole thing from the start, and he suddenly arrives on the roof to see that it is played out. As he arrives, Larissa is distracted, and Anton quickly pulls Yegor free, instructing him to run. Anton enters into battle with Zavulon, Anton using a simple UV tube, while Zavulon pulls an immense sword out of his backbone. Killing Anton is not Zavulon's goal, however. The goal is to get Yegor to choose the Dark. Killing Yegor's father would not accomplish that. As Yegor attempts to throw the necklace of protection to Anton, Anton pulls out a knife and goes for Zavulon. Zavulon is quick; suddenly he and Yegor have changed places, and Anton's knife is poised to kill Yegor. Zavulon stops Anton's blade from making the stab. Yegor, in his fright, asks Anton if he wanted to kill him. "Never!" is Anton's reply. Just then, the Dark Witch Alisa steps forward and reads a transcript of Anton's attempt to abort his son 12 years ago. Zavulon has won. "You're worse than the Dark," Yegor says to Anton. "You lie." Yegor takes Zavulon's hand and together they dissapear into the night, leaving behind a distraught Anton.

EPILOGUE: And so it came to pass. The Great Other (Yegor) came into the world and chose the side of evil. The legend says he will plunge the world into Darkness. But so long as there are those among us who believe in Light, there will be hope.

[Full synopsis by BJ Kuehl]


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