Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finally, a vampire flick with... Thumbnails... wait, what?


So to all those people that go "Gosh, I am so tired of Vampire flicks, the market is so over saturated with those fangy bastards". Well I suppose you are the same punks that said the zombie genre was over saturated a few years back... and well, look, its still here and going strong just like it has been for 60 plus years. And Vampires, they've been here longer and I suspect they will be here long after most of us have exited stage left.

Of course there are going to be bumps in popularity in the genre. The darkly sexy tales from Anne Rice at her prime. The Dracula bomb as one of the original 3 universal movie monsters of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. The teeny vampires are "so sexy" of the 2000s with the (yes, sigh if you must) Twilight series. Now funny story about the director of this here flick... he is actually responsible for one of the more successful vampire movies of all time - Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire; Neil Jordan.

And the story goes: A Mother (Gemma Arterton) and Daughter (Saoirse Ronan) vampire try to exist in the modern world. The Mother pays their way by playing whore, and the Daughter mopes around wishing she wasn't a Monster and her Mother wasnt a whore. And there's a secret society of Vampire Men after them.

Hello, Mom... Um, had kind of a rough night. 
That's it in a nutshell. And I don't want to talk to much more on the plot basics. I have a lot to cover here, and well, there is a whole lot of structure to the tale of how Momma vampire became one of the immortals and I don't care to go through it all. I want to start with the direction. There is no denying that Neil Jordan set out to bring a class, and art, to a rather simplistic script, that truly does elevate the material. This is a beautiful film. Trust ol'Boony here when I say - Bluray brings this film to life. Gorgeous.

The next thing that elevates the material is the performances by Gemma as the Mother, and Saoirse as the Daughter. Gemma Arterton is climbing my list of incredibly talented actresses who can play unashamedly sexy characters without having it over power them. She is in charge of every scene she is in, and her sexual presence is unreal. I honestly don't think they could've made her boobs look bigger. So I guess you could also say that the director has no shame either.

But hey, aren't Vampire tales suppose to be seductive? Sexy? I think so. The problem with this movie is  I honestly don't feel like I watched a Vampire flick. I mean you guys know me... well, I feel at least a little bit by now. I am all for changing the game, trying something different with the genre... but the problem is here... they change to much at once. First - no fangs. Yup. No fangs. They actually have thumbnails that grow, and puncture and then the drinking of blood.

You just don't know clean, till you're blood shower clean. 
Two. Nothing really happens. It's well acted, and there's drama. But really if you replace the people tracking them with say... an angry Ex husband... nothing would really have to change. And I think that's a problem. I know they are trying to do something different here. But it's just boring at times... its all relationship, and emotional, and well, lacking vampire shit.

I mean they are basically normal people with a thumbnail that grows... Come on! What the hell. No cool vamp powers. No cool vampire effects. They give you a little taste towards the end, but they deny you any real action, and that is a problem. Because at the end of the day this film claims to be a bold, R rated, vampire flick. And to live up to that, you gotta give me a little vamp action. The showdown )if we can call it that, is just a lot of whining and emotion crap. No real go time. No real "Hey look what Vampires can do". Just more daytime drama.

There are some beautiful moments here. The waterfalls running red with blood. The sweet conversation with the old man. The way the daughter lives through her memories. This is a lovely piece of Arthouse Vampire film-making.

For me however, there just wasn't enough to warrant recommending this to a horror fan. Or to a Vampire fan. If you are in the mood to watch a well made drama of a Mother and Daughters quest to survive the oppression of men, and the modern world, well, hey, this might be right up your alley. And if you simply want to bask in the sexiness that is Gemma A, or the directing talents of Jordan... hey its worth a view.

But as a whole, a slow moving experiment in the Vampire Mythos, without a major pay off is just not for me. The other issue, yes, you may have guessed it already, ENDING... or lack there of. Another, let's leave it on a note where we can make a sequel should this indie project gain a fanbase. Hey, maybe I'm wrong ... it happens... I admit it. And a few people have stood up to say this is the best modern Vampire film in years putting it alongside Let me in. I liked Let me in and I get the comparison, but to me they are not in the same class. This one is a few grades behind.

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Vampire/Horror film 2.5 out of 5 stars

It's pretty. And sexy. And slow. And unexciting.

I would totally take a dip with Gemma in the BloodFall (my name for the red water fall, I like it)... and drink from the bosom of her immortality. See, I can make dirty sound artsy too :)

Chuck B out.

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