Thicker Than Water is the first part in the Vampire Diaries Trilogy. It tells the story of the Baxters, an ordinary suburban family whose world is turned upside down when their youngest becomes a vampire. Lara, a precocious teenage Goth, hates her wholesome sister, Helen. She envies her popularity, her looks and most of all, her mother's pride and affection. One day, after their 16th Birthday party, during which she is particularly humiliated by her sister's friends, Lara performs an intricate ritual in front of her Anne Rice alter involving a Margie doll and calf's heart. The next morning Helen awakens with a severe nosebleed. Then she dies in her sister's horrified arms. The family is desperately grief stricken. Lara is filled with guilt, Mom with philosophical anguish and Raymond, the gay neuro-scientist brother, with curiosity, as he discovers a strange virus in Helen's blood: one that feeds on red blood cells. Suddenly there is a knock on the door. Helen, still wearing her white ... Written by
I love the vampire mythology in all of its many forms. I always enjoy a fresh take on the theme and independent cinema is usually the place that delivers the unique ideas. When a person is willing to put their own time, energy and money into a project you know that they are passionate about it. Independent cinema is all about Fierce passion and original ideas, devoid of star power and big bucks. 'Thicker Than Water' is one such independent film and it is a fun and bloody ride through vampire country straight into the Baxter's dysfunctional family home.
Lara resents her sister Helen's popularity and numerous achievements, and decides to cast a little spell on her. Things don't work out so well when Helen bleeds out of her nose so profusely that she dies. The family's mourning is cut short when Helen arrives at the door covered in blood.
The films strongest feature is its character development and performances. The characters are well drawn, and each one has something unique to offer. All the actors seemed very comfortable in their roles and brought just the right mix of quirky and seriousness. Much of the film is seen through Lara's perspective, the goth sister and Anne Rice fan. Her sister Helen is a vegetarian good girl who is pretty, popular and makes good grades. Brother Raymond is a mad scientist "in-the-closet" and rarely speaks. Mom's only real concern is her children, and she'll do what ever it takes to protect them. Helen's transformation and her unwillingness to feed brings the family closer together. Their interaction is often amusing, occasionally bizarre, and even touching at times. The film has a nice mix of moody atmosphere and camp that hits the right notes. The cinematography is decent and the sets are effective. The gore is a bit slim but what there is, works well. There is a little bit of fun poked at Anne Rice and there is even a Lestat-esquire character which I found quite entertaining. My one complaint about 'Thicker Than Water' would be the music. I wasn't crazy about the choice of music or how it was used in the film. There is an excellent family dinner scene, that almost gets completely washed out by the loud classical music played over it. 'Thicker Than Water' may be low on budget, but it's high on entertainment! Funny, smart, creepy and well acted. This independent vampire flick is definitely worth picking up. Recommended!
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