It’s finally spooky season. Yes I am late. Writing for 5 days a week is kind of draining so I needed a recharge (still do probably), but the movies stop for no one (not even a plague). That takes us to the first really horror film out, and it’s a throwback no less, Vampire vs The Bronx.
Vampires vs The Bronx is a throwback to the kids vs monster sub-genre of horror movies popular in the 80s and 90s. This one updated to follow Miguel and his friends Luis and Bobby. They are middle schoolers growing up in the Bronx and see it changing. Business going from small time owners to fancier white people brands all headed by one real estate company. When Miguel finds out that the company is run by vampires trying to buy out the Bronx and use everyone left as their meal ticket he teams up with his friends, the owner of a local bodega, and crush, Rita, to slay the vampires and keep everyone safe.
As far as one of these types of films go it is pretty solid. The cast is really good and has a real easy chemistry. Netflix consistently finds amazing kid actors for these roles. The side cast isn’t the best, but are memorable. The cinematography is great but it’s clear they are working on a limited budget. Some of the big action scenes feel lacking because of that limitation. It’s not bad, gives it some charm in fact, but does hold it back from being what the team probably envisioned it could be. A solid film that is way too on the neck-I mean nose.
The themes are what honestly set it apart and make it stand out. Vampires targeting marginalized groups is not new, neither is them choking out neighborhoods in order to get what they want, but the change in scenery to a minority heavy location makes everything more obvious. That clash between uptight, posh, European vampires acting like they’re in a classic film going against more grounded level crime and gangbangers is where the heart of the films fun and thoughts come from. Those moments lead to the best scenes. The film also uses those moments to help lift up what it considers good about those diverse communities while making it pointedly obvious what harms the communities… kind of.
The film is short. Just under 90 minutes and that is a shame because it could have used that time to better hone in on the central question the film poses. It sets up how siding with those who have money is better than giving into the dangerous criminals you know if it helps you escape. It sets up a gangsters vs vampires idea that it doesn’t follow through on. Instead it positions them as a secondary antagonists. That’s not wrong. It makes sense with the arc of one of our principle characters, but also feels it misses the point of its own movie. If both are supposed to be rejected then they need to be given a deeper dive. It gives some reading into how they’re the same but should do more.
It sounds like I want to change the movie. I do but don’t. The movie wants to be more fun, light, and a good early age horror film. It succeeds at that. But it clearly wants to be more and succeeds at that from time to time; it just could be more.
I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: https://ebay.com/usr/connorfahy1013 say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!
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