Belgium's vampire community invites a documentary crew to film one of their families: husband, wife, and two teen children - Georges, Bertha, Sampson, and Grace. The teens have problems: ... See full summary »
Belgium's vampire community invites a documentary crew to film one of their families: husband, wife, and two teen children - Georges, Bertha, Sampson, and Grace. The teens have problems: Sampson wants to sleep with the community leader's wife (the only sexual taboo) and Grace wears pink and wants to be human. The family eats (they keep a young woman for snacks, and the police drop off immigrants for them), visits their community school, chats with a coffin maker, goes to parties, and looks down their nose at a childless vampire couple who live in their basement. We learn of the vampire code, forced exile in Canada, and the fate of the Sampson and Grace. Written by
The greatest cult movie that my country ever brought forward is inarguably "Man Bites Dog", about a group of journalists following around a serial killer who openly talks about his occupation and proudly illustrates his modus operandi in front of the camera. Now, nearly twenty years later, Belgium has another false/pseudo documentary ready with "Vampires", although I doubt this one will become as big and successful. Too bad actually, because "Vampires" is a fresh, inventive and pleasantly deranged movie with an intelligent script and devoted acting performances by the ensemble cast. The members of a TV crew get the assignment of following around a family of vampires and shoot a documentary about their life, habits and characteristics. The crew receives a warm welcome from patriarch Georges, his wife Bertha and their two children Samson and Grace. The family lives in the French- speaking part of Belgium, where life is beautiful and easy-going thanks to the country's protective and all-covering social system. They feed on illegal immigrants and former prostitutes referred to as "Meat" and attend gatherings with other vampires in the same district. The vampires have their share of problems as well, like recurring arguments with the couple living in the basement (vampires without children haven't got the right to purchase a house), the teenage daughter Grace wishes to be human and commits suicide all the time even though she's immortal and the partying son Samson has been caught having sex with the wife of the district vampire leader. Because of this tremendous offense Georges and his family are exiled to Canada, where a vampire's life is a lot less cheerful. The film's biggest trump is the clever and witty screenplay, co-written director Vincent Lannoo, that is chock-full of funny little gags, subtle society criticism and honorable references towards film and literature classics. There's not a dull moment in the script and the pacing is fast and rhythmic enough to keep you entertained throughout. This isn't really a horror movie, but still there are a handful of bloody massacres and nasty rituals illustrated on screen, basically to emphasize that the main characters are and remain, in fact, monsters. The performances are terrific. Like with "Man Bites Dog", I presume Belgians feel very comfortable with talking straight into the camera and act completely natural about the most eccentric and dubious subject matter. "Vampires" is a creative and replenishing comedy that makes me proud to be Belgian especially since we only make the international news because of our political crisis and mass murderers and I hope Vincent Lannoo & C° will be able to expand the success beyond Belgian boundaries as well.
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