This one was sort of a random watch on the Netflix. Normally, I don’t go in for vampire flicks unless they are exceptional or very different in their approach. This one actually fulfilled both requirements. Vampires is a French-language film that approaches the subject of the blood-sucking fiends from a documentary point-of-view. It revolves around a camera crew that takes up with a family of vampires who live in French-speaking Belgium. The main cast consists of the family, their basement ‘roommates’ and a variety of side-characters that appear to flesh out the world of vampiric society.
The father is a traditionalist of sorts, the mother completely crazy, the daughter wishes to be human and keeps trying to kill herself in various ways and the brother is a hyper-aggressive screw-up. The neighbors are more genteel, approaching their vampiric lives with more refinement and abhorring their necessary living arrangements with the dysfunctional family that lives above them.
The movie ranges from dark and morbid to light-hearted and absurd. Some aspects seem almost shock-horror in nature, such as when they talk about feeding off of babies, or one particular scene that involves the torture of a mentally handicapped person. But just when it gets to be a little too intense, the movie switches to ridiculous aspects of vampiric society, such as vampire school, where they teach new “children” how to bite their victims properly.
The end result is a film that addresses the subject of vampire legends with both intelligence and humor. There are looks into the darker aspects of life as an undead blood-sucker and mocking commentary on the way the current vampire craze depicts them. Despite its sometimes ludicrous situations, it comes across as just realistic enough to make it feel like a documentary.
I’m not going to give away how the film progresses, but let’s just say it switches gears and gives a nice, strange contrast at the end. If you’re a vampire obsessionist or just wonder at the way people have become so engrossed with them lately, then Vampires might be for you. Since it’s only just over one-and-a-half hours, it’s pretty easy to get through, even if it doesn’t impress you as much as it did me.