Marnie and her friends from Halloweentown are back in this made-for-cable feature. Marnie is a teenage witch living with her family of supernatural beings in the village of Halloweentown. ... See full summary »
Mark A.Z. Dippé
Kimberly J. Brown,
A tale about two young boys, Prosper and Bo, who flee to Venice after being orphaned and dumped in the care of a cruel auntie. Hiding in the canals and alleyways of the city, the boys are ... See full summary »
Based on the popular books, the story tells of Tony who wants a friend to add some adventure to his life. What he gets is Rudolph, a vampire kid with a good appetite. The two end up inseparable, but their fun is cut short when all the hopes of the vampire race could be gone forever in single night. With Tony's access to the daytime world, he helps them to find what they've always wanted. Written by
Back in the 80's, making Childrens Films was eaiser. There was no need for hypnotic techno background beats. Directors didn't include glitzy light shows whenever good and evil fought, Pokemon-style. Some of the best fantasy films come from the 80s and featured bad acting, horrible continuity, and rather icky special effects and cinamatography as a whole.
"The Little Vampire" which stars mostly Jonathan Lipnicki, but also his little fanged friend Rollo Weeks, looks 10-20 years old but it actually a new release by New Line Cinema. And while for many this sounds like the ultimate rip of the dark children's fantasy based on some pretty famous books (at least in Europe), in actuality I think it's this that gives the film class.
I cringe every time Jonathan's character says "dude" and cringe harder when Rollo lays out the vampric lore dribble on why they don't bite humans. (They dine on cows.) But it becomes harder and harder to dislike someone so charming as either boy as the chase for the medallion continues.
The medallion is most of the time gaurded by Rookery who may be one of the most complete characters in the film. From the moment one sees his vampire hunting contraption looking like something from either "Mad Max" or "Tremors," those who are not children in the audience know this isn't going to be your typical kid's flick. The dark, creepyness continues throughout it's length, and someone in Oscar town might want to think on giving some nods for costume and art direction. Nothing beats the expressions on Rollo Weeks' face when he takes Lipnicki for their flights.
Alas, the film lags and is generally one big chase. The vampires want the amulet, the vampire hunter wants the vampires, and Jonathan's parents just want thier son to be normal. A tricky thing a dark movie appropriate for children is. If they had added more action, it wouldn't have worked. And in my opinion, even with the scares present, it probably only worked half way.
But the attempt looks sooo good.
The Little Vampire: B
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