Thursday, December 4, 2008

Horror Movie Review: Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries vol. 1

Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries vol. 1

Starring: Devon Bailey, Eilis Cahill, JoJo Hristova, and Michael Strelow

Directed by: Phil Messerer

Written by: Phil Messerer

Production Company: The Sugar Factory

Release Date: July 28, 2008

Awards: The Accolade Award of Excellence in a feature film, The Indie gathering award for Best Horror film, the Action On Film Award for Best Art Direction, the B-Movie Fest's awards for Best Music and Best Director, the Independent Features Film Festival award for Viewer's Choice Best Horror, the IndieFest USA award for Best Make-Up, and the Family Values Award at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival

Since 1916's N├Ąchte des Grauens (Night of Horror to us Americaners), nearly 600 movies have been made (or are in production) containing vampires. Let's face it, these days it's hard to find someone with a new twist to the bloodsucking undead. That doesn't mean that all new vampire movies are doomed to suck, pardon the pun, but they certainly have to struggle to keep from going down in flames when finally released to the bright glare of critics.

Into that frightful genre Phil Messerer brings us Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries vol. 1.

Meet the Baxters. Fraternal twins vegetarian Helen and goth Lara, homosexual Raymond, and religious Mom. Just your typical American family. Lara can't stand her popular sister, but when Helen mysteriously dies after her 16th birthday, Lara's world and that of her family's is turned upside down. Especially when Helen returns as a vampire.

What follows is the family's drive to care for Helen in her new vampiric state offering her "sacrifices" that won't be missed or traced to them. Raymond begins doing strange experiments with the dead bodies, Lara finds herself an integral component of the family as the resident expert, and Mom struggles with her religious beliefs and her love for her daughter. And we learn about a family secret.

Messerer takes the idea of vampirism from the realm of the supernatural into the realm of science as vampires are determined by their genetics. His story is also one that does a good job balancing humor with drama, a trick many have a hard time achieving. Of note is the rock musical score Messerer uses in this film.

Messerer's film is a fresh, funny, dark spin on the old vampire tale. Let's hope he has the chance to give us more of the Baxter story.

1 comment:

kelloggs said...

Did you say 'rock musical score?' I really want to see this...