Tuesday 2 November 2010

Now this, perhaps, could be called the anti-Twilight. A romantic vampire movie in which monsters remain monsters and vampires are not romanticised. A young man encounters a mysterious young woman and tells her, quite accurately, that she is not like any other girl he has ever met. A fairly new vampire, she is one of a pack who roam the back roads of the southern USA, finding victims to slake their blood thirst in a variety of creative and nasty ways. A pack of killers, and now it seems that young Caleb, bitten and turning, has to join them - or be killed.

Despite a couple of plot holes, I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The 80s aren't really my favourite decade for horror (although they're a lot better than the 90s) but this film shows off the slick 80s look at its best and marshals an excellent ensemble cast together to deliver a story that brings us to the very verge of vampiric cool without falling off.

Because vampires are monsters, parasites who kill to live, and this movie never lets us forget it, even as the vampires go about their dirty deeds in a series of scenes of escalating violence that culminates in a massacre in a highway diner that shows off both the deadly style that the vampires exude as skilled, enthusiastic killers and the terrible, senseless brutality of what it is that they do.

Best of all, the movie plays out a happy ending to its love story, one that does not require the monstrous to be somehow vindicated or diluted, quite to the contrary. This is a horror story that does not have difficulty in telling apart the horrific and the human, and for that alone it is worth viewing, despite a few flaws.

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