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Film / The Gathering

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The Gathering is a 2002 British horror/thriller film directed by Brian Gilbert and starring Christina Ricci, Ioan Gruffudd, Kerry Fox, Stephen Dillane, Simon Russell Beale, and Robert Hardy.

When an ancient buried church is discovered in Glastonbury with an unusual altar piece that depicts a crucified Christ facing a bas-relief of onlookers, Simon Kirkman (Dillane), an art historian with a background in authenticating religious relics, is called to examine it by his estranged friend, Father Luke Fraser (Beale). Meanwhile, a young American woman named Cassie Grant (Ricci) is accidentally struck by a car driven by Simon's wife, Marion (Fox).

Cassie seems virtually unharmed by the impact save for an apparent loss of memory of everything but her name, but Marion insists on taking her in until she has fully recovered. Cassie grows to care for Simon and Marion's two young children, Michael and Emma, but is troubled by premonitions of the death of several people in the village, as well as strange dreams and seeing people that she recognizes in the village who just stare at her.

Gradually, Cassie comes to realize that there is something more sinister going on with these people she recognizes, that they may be tied to an upcoming disaster, even as Simon and Luke come to realize the ties to the contents of the church, which was possibly founded by St. Joseph of Arimathea.

Not to be confused with the Christmas-themed 1977 Made-for-TV Movie of the same name starring Ed Asner and Maureen Stapleton.

This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Easy Amnesia: Cassie exhibits retrograde amnesia after the accident, unable to recall anything but her name and a vague belief that she's from the Midwest United States.
  • Flying Dutchman: It is eventually revealed that the strange people that Cassie sees in the town are a crowd of people who observed The Crucifixion simply as a matter of spectacle, and have been cursed to continue to be spectators to great tragedies. Cassie is one of them.
  • Lost in the Maize: Cassie, Michael, and Emma use a nearby field of corn to hide from Argyle.
  • Orphanage of Fear: The house that the Kirkmans live in used to be an orphanage, which was rumored to be a hotbed of abuse of the children there. It was, and Argyle is planning his revenge on the five men who abused him, as well as killing Michael, who resembles him as a child.