Search This Blog

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 209: Vampires

Their waffles are to die for

I don't want to say that the Twilight series has ruined the horror genre (mostly because I haven't and will not read it), but it certainly has made it harder for the genre. Vampires have always had a romantic quality to them, but Twilight dumbed it down for the tween population so they could swoon over a monster that sparkles in the sunlight. Yeah, it sounds pretty hideous. Vampire movies now need to up the ante and present themselves in a different light. Some movies try found footage, or telling the story from the vampire's point of view or, like in the case of vampires, an amalgam of both. (And yes, I have already reviewed a movie called “Vampires,” but this is a different film.)

Vampires is a 2010 Belgian horror movies starring Carlo Ferante as Georges. The Belgian vampire community invites a film crew to follow one of their families. After two attempts in which the crew were eaten by vampires, ground rules are set and a third crew is able to film the family. Georges is the patriarch, Bertha the mother, Samson the son, and Grace the daughter. They also share their cellar with two other vampires who are relegated to a small space because they do not have children. They explain what it is like to live as a vampire, having a young woman they call The Meat stay in their house as their food. The also immigrants delivered to their house for eating as well. We see them picking out coffins to sleep in and going to school to learn how to properly be a vampire. Despite being vampires, the family has problems similar to that of a human family, though with a twist. Grace is unhappy and desperately wants to become human. She wears pink clothes, puts on makeup to appear tan, and even has a human boyfriend. She even goes as far as trying to kill herself through various human methods, but her vampirism keeps her alive. Samson is rebellious and sleeps with the community leader's wife, the only taboo in the vampire community. The penalty is death, but Samson is able to go to London and speak with an elder who is able to stay the execution. The family is exiled to Canada. Will they be able to adjust to their new life in a new country?

Cheers, Big Ears

This film is not your typical vampire movie. It is shot in the documentary style of interviews which captures some intimate moments of the vampires' lives. It gives a unique perspective on the vampire genre as well. The movie also brings up the “vampire code,” written by Count Dracula himself, which all vampires must live by. This was something new to me and I'm not sure if it exists in other forms of entertainment, but it added a sense of realism to the movie. The vampires live without fear of disease or violence, but still must live within the code. I am hesitant to compare it to other mockumentaries such as This Is Spinal Tap and Fear of A Black Hat because while it does have humorous moments, it is not a total spoof on vampires.

The movie is well written with some clever dialogue that really help things move along. The acting is good all around and make the movie believable. Made for relatively, the movie focuses more on character development than action. It has a few scenes of violence and some blood, but nothing extreme or gorey. There is some good social commentary throughout, such as the differences in lifestyle for the family. Life is easy in Belgium and they are fat and comfortable. When they move to Canada, they are forced to work and interact with humans. This all can be compared to the hardships that human immigrants must endure. Vampires does have some differences in other vampire movie, such as fire not killing them, but it didn't bother me much. Little changes are ok. Vampires sparkling in sunlight are not. 

Let me stand next to your fire

Vampires is a smart and witty take on the vampire genre. It wisely uses the documentary style to develop characters in a way that straight forward movies can not. The interview segments are windows in the character's minds and emotions and you just don't get that from a regular vampire movie. There is a bit of action and blood, but not enough for your typical horror fan. The movie has some genuinely funny moments and is enjoyable for people that like to pick up on small nuances. If you enjoy good writing and dialogue and can live without lots of violence, you'll like Vampires.


No comments:

Post a Comment