While many films stand the test of time, others fade into obscurity. Whether this happens over a period of years or almost instantly upon a film’s release, each of these titles has slipped through the cracks of our collective memory to join the ranks of the Films That Time Forgot.

On paper, 2011’s Priest ticks an awful lot of boxes. It’s got big-name stars, a premise that combines two separate but equally huge pop culture phenomenons (vampires and the apocalypse), and plenty of potential for action. In spite of this, it still lies buried at the bottom of both bargain bins and society’s collective memory.

Starring Paul Bettany (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Karl Urban (Thor: Ragnarok), and Cam Gigandet, Priest certainly isn’t short of talent. It also features Maggie Q, Christopher Plummer, Lily Collins, and Brad Dourif, rounding out an exceptional cast. With both vampires and the apocalypse at the peak of their popularity in 2011, the film should have been an all-round slam dunk.

In Priest‘s bleak future, a centuries-long war has waged between humans and vampires. Specially-trained warriors called “priests” were trained to turn the tide against the creatures, and tentative peace was reached. The priests were then discarded to live among a society that rejects and distrusts them, but when vampires attack a former priest’s family, he risks everything to save them. In other words, it’s a fairly standard action-fantasy plot.

Priest Tries To Do Too Much, Then Ends Up Doing Nothing At All

Karl Urban as Black Hat vampire in Priest (2011)

Priest combines action, fantasy, and horror, but it also tries to include certain elements of the Western genre. The most obvious way it does so is through Karl Urban’s “Black Hat” character, a former Priest turned-vampire, who wears a cowboy hat and rides across the dusty plains on a train with his vampire cronies in tow. There’s also the way that the film’s hero and antagonist aren’t actually given names, and its fairly simple revenge/responsibility story.

This excessive blending of genres really hurts the finished film. It’s a confused mess of ideas that only share a passing resemblance to the things they’re clearly intended to evoke. It’s a high-concept film with a concept that just hammers together several disjointed elements and hopes for the best. Even its plot twist is predictable (and, frankly, thoroughly uninteresting).

With a script made up of nonsensical clichés and ill-defined characters, Priest is one of the most uninteresting and forgettable films ever made. It’s not bad, per se, because that would imply that there’s something about it to actively criticize. It’s dull and stupid, and despite some decent action, it really isn’t interesting enough to ever deserve to be remembered.

Rating: 30%

Summary: There’s some passable fantasy action sequences, but otherwise, Priest is a dud through and through. Its story and concept are so dull that they actually make the film aggressively forgettable.

Highlight: Brad Dourif’s cameo is weirdly entertaining (despite very little screen time), and Priest has some watchable action scenes.