Sunday, October 30, 2005

Vampire Clan (2002)

A Film Review

Copyright Dragan Antulov 2005

Horror films often inhabit the realm of supernatural, because one of their many purposes is to make the banal reality less horrible for the audience. Because of that, many people have problems recognising the horror or sources of horror in banalities of every day. One of the films to find horror in reality is VAMPIRE CLAN, 2002 drama directed by John Webb.

The plot begins when Jeni Wendorf (played by Stacy Hogue) returns home one night only to find mutilated bodies of her parents Rick (played by David Wells) and Ruth (played by Mimi Craven) while her younger sister Heather Ann (played by Kelly Kruger) is missing. Police quickly determines Rod Farrell (played by Drew Fuller), Heather's former boyfriend and leader of small band of Goth teenagers, to be prime suspect and organises national manhunt. Rod, Heather and the rest of band are found in Louisiana and arrested. During the questioning, Rod surprises detectives by claiming to be a leader of a vampire clan.

VAMPIRE CLAN is based on true events that had shocked American public a decade ago. Film's low budget is very evident and the only thing that separates VAMPIRE CLAN from a TV film are the explicit scenes of violence and gore. However, those scenes are anything but gratuitous, because the film treats its sinister subject with seriousness of real docudrama. Relatively unknown young actors are quite good in their roles, while director John Webb does a good job of capturing audience's attention despite the actual plot being resolved at the very beginning.

As a reconstruction of true crime, VAMPIRE CLAN is very good. Unfortunately, this also means that the filmmakers are concentrated on facts at the expense of interpretations. VAMPIRE CLAN shows how the crime was committed while not telling or suggesting its ultimate motive. The audience can only guess, despite some brief hints about sexual abuse or parental irresponsibility that sounds more like template used by such stories than filmmakers' actual opinion. As a result, the film's protagonists begin to look more like cartoons than real life persons they are supposed to be. VAMPIRE CLAN is a film worth seeing, but far from transcending banality of its subject,

RATING: 5/10 (+)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was better than the what the people said on the IMDb board. After all, they are all well used subjects that this film didn't exploit.


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